Wednesday 13 February 2013

Richard III's malocclusion

The following has been sent to me by Deenagh Reynolds, a dentist who tells me she "put down her drill five years ago":
"I was surprised to find in the coverage of the identification of the remains of King Richard that no reference was made to the relationship in the skull of the upper and lower jaws and teeth. The photograph of the skull shows a mild malocclusion, with the lower jaw slightly more prominent than the upper jaw, the anterior teeth therefore meeting "edge to edge", instead of the much more common relationship where the upper anterior teeth overlap the lower teeth, normally by 2 or 3 mm.

Looking at the portrait of the skull one can see this same property in the profile of King Richard as shown by the artist.

Another tell-tale sign is the unusual wear on the incisive edges of the upper and lower incisors, again proving the characteristic malocclusion, which is variously known as a "mild Angles' Class Three", a "Hapsburg Jaw" and, in more recent times, a Churchillian jaw. It would be interesting to see other portraits of the King in profile, in order to check that this marked facial characteristic is evident.

A prominent chin is quite a strong genetic feature and may be evident in other members of that Royal House."
The Richard III Society held a press conference where they unveiled the specially commissioned facial reconstruction. The video can now be seen on YouTube and this provides the opportunity to view the face from a variety of different angles.

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