What's Bimaxillary Protrusion And How To Fix It?

An individual's dental structure can often determine the appearance of his or her face. Many people are affected by visible protrusions derived either from the jaws, incisors or other components of the lower facial structure. Due to this, there may frequently be concerns among patients regarding how exactly they can manage such structural inconsistencies.

Dr Priscilla Lu is an experienced orthodontist, specialising in dental issues faced by numerous patients. In a DoctorxDentist post, she focused on concerns and treatments involved in managing bimaxillary protrusion, a condition that she helps patients deal with. Here's what she had to say.


What is a bimaxillary protrusion?

illustration of different types of malocclusions

This condition is usually characterised with a protrusive and proclining upper and lower incisors. It often leads to difficulty in closing the lips and can also be associated with a gummy smile or an anterior open bite. It’s a condition commonly experienced by African-American and Asian patients.


What causes it?

asian woman biting mouth

Bimaxillary protrusions are, for the most part, multifactorial (meaning that many factors can contribute to the issue). Reasons range from environmental factors like mouth breathing, tongue and lip habits to tongue volume and might possibly even be related to genetics. [1]


Bimaxillary protrusions are mainly an aesthetic concern

young asian woman smiling with teeth

This condition often leads to patients' teeth protruding and their lips sticking out, due to the malposition of the upper and lower front teeth. It is, therefore, largely considered an aesthetic concern. However, that doesn't mean it isn't important. Patients often have negative emotional experiences connected to perceptions around protruding teeth. [2]


A variety of difficulties may be connected to the condition

asian woman touching lips

If bimaxillary protrusion is associated with difficulty in closing the lips, then other problems like dry lips, thick gums due to prolonged mouth breathing and difficulty in brushing the gums may all follow. [3]


Sometimes, bimaxillary protrusion can also affect chewing

asian woman eating food

If it is associated with an anterior open bite (the front teeth are not touching each other), then chewing functionality may be compromised. This may result in the overuse of the back teeth and excessive wear of the back teeth over time. [4]


Teeth extraction may be a necessary procedure

extracted tooth between a tool

Management is determined by the patient's concerns and situation as well as the severity of the condition. If the protrusion is limited to the teeth, orthodontic treatment may include extraction of the upper or lower teeth to allow space for dental adjustments.[5]


Jaw surgery may also be a possibility

illustration of a jaw protrusion and incision point for jaw surgery

If the protrusion involves the underlying jaw bones, orthodontic treatment combined with orthognathic surgery may be required, especially if there is an association with a gummy smile. [6]



Patients should undergo a thorough orthodontic evaluation in order to properly assess the protrusion. This is so management feasibility, as well as any complications that might potentially occur during treatment, can be determined.






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1. Lamberton CM, Reichart PA, Triratananimit P. Bimaxillary protrusion as a pathologic problem in the Thai. American Journal of Orthodontics. 1980;77(3):320-329. doi:10.1016/0002-9416(80)90085-8

2. Kim J-R, Son W-S. A Retrospective Analysis of 20 Surgically Corrected Bimaxillary Protrusion Patients. Accessed May 7, 2019.

This article was published on Wednesday, 12 June 2019. Dr Priscilla Lu medically reviewed the article on Wednesday, 12 June 2019. The last update was made on Monday, 17 February 2020.

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