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Comparison of the upper airways from cephalometric radiographs of children with and without finger-sucking habit
Pubblication date: 09/2014
Authors: G.E. Salazar-Arboleda*, A.M. Moncaleano-Arévalo*, A. M. Rueda-Chartouni*, M. Barreto**
Institution: *Dental Unit, Faculty of Dentistry,
University Foundation “San Martin”, Seat of Port Colombia, Colombia
**Paediatric Unit Sant´Andrea Hospital, NESMOS Department, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, University “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy
Publication: European Journal of Paediatic Dentistry
Title: Comparison of the upper airways from cephalometric radiographs of children with and without finger-sucking habit
Abstract: Aim Finger-sucking in early childhood can induce morphologic changes in the oropharynx and upper airways, which could arise even in children without reported oral breathing. The aim of this study was to compare cephalometric findings in children with and without finger sucking habit with respect to oral breathing.
Materials and Methods Fifty-six children aged 4 to 12 years (28 with diagnosis of finger sucking and 28 controls) treated at the Port Colombia Dental Clinic underwent cephalometric radiographs, from which morphologic (n=11, whole skull), upper airways (n=10), hyoid bone (n=3) and postural (n=5) measurements were performed. The unpaired t-test was used for comparison between groups.
Results Both groups had similar age and gender distribution (7.9 yrs ± 2.9; M/F: 14/14). Patients with finger-sucking habit had a higher hard palate length from the anterior nasal spine to the posterior nasal spine (finger-sucking subjects: 50.18 mm; controls: 46.91 mm; p = 0.0001) and distance from the epiglottic vallecula to the posterior pharyngeal wall (finger-sucking subjects: 15.55 mm; controls: 13.36 mm; p = 0.0231) than control subjects. Patients with finger-sucking habits also had a shorter distance from the posterior nasal spine to the adenoids (14.91 mm vs. 17.82 mm; p = 0.0173), wider cranial-cervical angles (105.64 mm vs. 101.6 mm; p = 0.05) and lower hyoid bone positioning (14.55 mm vs. 11.82 mm; p = 0.0125) than controls.
Conclusion Finger-sucking habit is associated with characteristic cephalometric changes even in children without oral breathing, especially at the hyoid bone and postural measurements.