It is a disorder characterized by abnormal bone tissue in the lower part of the face. Beginning in early childhood, both the lower jaw and the upper jaw become enlarged as bone is replaced with painless cyst-like growths. The symptoms are:
1. Swollen cheeks
2. Prominent lower face
3. Enlarged jaw
4. Abnormal teeth
5. Thick gums
6. Enlarged lymph nodes under jaw
HOW IS CHERUBISM DIAGNOSED?
A dentist usually diagnoses cherubism when dental abnormalities are found. The only definite way to correctly diagnose the disease is by sequence analysis of the SH3BP2 gene. An initial study of the patient is usually conducted using X-Ray and CT scans. Neurofibromatosis may resemble cherubism and may accompany the disease. Genetic testing is the final tool.
HOW IS CHERUBISM TREATED?
This condition is usually known to improve over time with the changing landscape of the jawline and bone structure. Surgical bone grafting may be an option for very severe cases, while elimination of bulk cysts and fibrous tissue can also help in improvement.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cherubism was first documented and named by Dr. W.A. Jones in the year 1933, describing a case of three siblings belonging to the same family.