Cherubism is a disorder characterized by abnormal bone tissue in the jaw. Beginning in early childhood, both the lower jaw (the mandible) and the upper jaw (the maxilla) become enlarged as bone is replaced with painless, cyst-like growths. These growths give the cheeks a swollen, rounded appearance and often interfere with normal tooth development. In some people the condition is so mild that it may not be noticeable, while other cases are severe enough to cause problems with vision, breathing, speech, and swallowing. Enlargement of the jaw usually continues throughout childhood and stabilizes during puberty. The abnormal growths are gradually replaced with normal bone in early adulthood. As a result, many affected adults have a normal facial appearance.
Mutations in the SH3BP2 gene have been identified in about 80 percent of people with cherubism. In most of the remaining cases, the genetic cause of the condition is unknown.
The incidence of cherubism is unknown. Nearly 350 cases have been reported worldwide.
This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder.
Published Date: June 01, 2021Published By: National Institutes of Health