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Oral breathing and dental malocclusions

Type:  Articles

Pubblication date:  /2/2009

Authors:  A.M. Zicari**, F. Albani*, P. Ntrekou*, A. Rugiano**, M. Duse**, A. Mattei***, G. Marzo*

Language:  English

Institution:  * University of L’Aquila, School of Dentistry Specialisation Course in Orthodontics ** La Sapienza University of Rome Allergology and Immunology Department Paediatric Department *** University of L’Aquila, Department of Internal medicine and public health

Publication:  European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

Publisher:  Ariesdue Srl

Keywords:  Oral breathing; Malocclusion; Craniofacial growth.

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Title:  Oral breathing and dental malocclusions

Abstract:  Aim Aim of the present study was to evaluate existing correlations between oral breathing and dental malocclusions. Methods The study was conducted on a paediatric group of 71 oral breathers selected at the Allergology and Paediatric Immunology Department of Umberto I General Hospital, University of Rome “La Sapienza”. The children were selected based on inclusion/exclusion criteria. Children aged 6 to 12 years with no history of craniofacial malformations or orthodontic treatment were included. The results were compared with a control group composed of 71 patient aged 6 to 12 years with nasal breathing. After their medical history was recorded, all patients underwent orthodontic/otolaryngological clinical examinations. The following diagnostic procedures were then performed: latero-lateral projection teleradiography, orthopantomogram, dental impressions, anterior rhinomanometry before and after administering a local vasoconstrictor, nocturnal home pulse oximetry (NHPO) recording, spirometry test, skin prick test, study cast evaluation and cephalometric analysis following Tweed’s principles. The intraoral examination assessed: dental class type, overbite, overjet, midlines, crossbite, and presence of parafunctional oral habits such as atypical swallowing, labial incompetence, finger sucking and sucking of the inner lip. Evaluation of the study casts involved arch perimeter and transpalatal width assessment, and space analysis. Results The results showed a strong correlation between oral breathing and malocclusions, which manifests itself with both dentoskeletal and functional alterations, leading to a dysfunctional malocclusive pattern. Conclusions According to the authors’ results, dysfunctional malocclusive pattern makes it clear that the association between oral breathing and dental malocclusions represents a self-perpetuating vicious circle in which it is difficult to establish if the primary alteration is respiratory or maxillofacial. Regardless, the problem needs to be addressed and solved through the close interaction of the paediatrician, otorhinolaryngologist, allergologist and orthodontist.

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