Is a Low Nasal Bridge?
Your nasal bridge is the bony area at the top of your nose. If
you have a low nasal bridge, that area is flat and doesn’t protrude. The degree
of flatness can vary depending on the person.
An infectious disease or genetic disorder can sometimes cause a
low nasal bridge, which is also called saddle nose. The cause is usually
determined and treated shortly after birth. A baby’s features are naturally
underdeveloped at birth. Over time, their nasal bridge may acquire a more
If you or your child has a low nasal bridge, the condition
typically will not impair breathing. You can have your nasal bridge reshaped by
plastic surgery if its appearance bothers you.
Nasal Bridge in Children
The facial features of babies and young children are naturally
underdeveloped. In the absence of underlying disease, your child’s facial
features will develop and become more prominent as they grow.
If your child has a low nasal bridge but no other symptoms or
signs of health problems or genetic abnormalities, there’s generally no cause
for concern. If you’re unsure whether the shape of your child’s nose is normal,
make an appointment with their pediatrician.
Nasal Bridge Caused by Genetic Disorders
The underlying causes of a low nasal bridge are present at birth.
They’re usually diagnosed at or shortly after birth. Underlying causes include
genetic disorders, birth defects, and infectious disease.
Abnormal genes that are passed from parents to their child cause
genetic disorders. These disorders aren’t curable. The following genetic
disorders can cause a low nasal bridge.
Cleidocranial dysostosis causes the skull and collarbone to
develop abnormally. People with cleidocranial dysostosis may have a low nasal
Williams syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects many
areas of the body. It’s caused by the deletion of genetic material from
chromosome 7. The deleted material includes more than 25 genes.
Williams syndrome causes mild to moderate intellectual
disabilities, developmental delays, and distinctive facial features. Williams
syndrome also causes bone deformities like a low nasal bridge.
Down syndrome is caused by trisomy 21. This means every cell in the
body has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two copies. Down
syndrome causes mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, developmental
delays, and unusual facial and body features.
People with Down syndrome commonly have flattened facial
features, which may include a low nasal bridge.
Nasal Bridge Caused by Birth Defects
Birth defects caused by fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) may also
cause a low nasal bridge.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
FAS is a group of birth defects that your child may have if you
drank alcoholic beverages during your pregnancy. The chances of FAS are highest
if you drink alcoholic beverages during the first trimester of your pregnancy.
- nervous system problems
- growth deficiencies
- behavioral problems
- learning disabilities
- facial abnormalities
A low nasal bridge is seen in some children who have FAS.
Nasal Bridge Caused by Infectious Disease
An infectious disease is caused by an acquired infection.
Congenital syphilis can cause a low nasal bridge. Syphilis
is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). If you have syphilis during your
pregnancy, you can pass it to your child through the placenta. This can also
happen through contact with the vaginal canal during delivery.
Congenital syphilis is
a severe and potentially life-threatening infection in infants. Infants with
congenital syphilis are treated with antibiotics to kill the infection.
However, the treatment has a low success rate.
About 12.5 percent of
infants with congenital syphilis die if left untreated. An infant who survives
may have severe health problems. These can include:
- neurological problems
- bone deformities like a low nasal bridge
of an Underlying Problem
If your doctor suspects that the shape of your child’s nose is
caused by an underlying problem, they may order tests to detect genetic
abnormalities or other health problems. Tests may include:
- X-rays to look at the structure of your child’s
- chromosome tests to detect genetic abnormalities
- blood tests to detect infections and check
a Low Nasal Bridge Be Repaired?
A low nasal bridge generally doesn’t cause any health problems. Plastic
surgery is usually not necessary. If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your
nose, talk to a plastic surgeon about how plastic surgery can reshape your
The results of surgery will depend on the flatness of your nasal
bridge, as well as your other facial features.