The knowledge of the distribution and causes of malocclusion in early childhood can prevent such malocclusions and
their consequences and possibly to reduce complex orthodontic treatment.
All children (n = 234; 116 male, 118 female, age
2-16) who presented with occlusal or functional problems at the Department of Paediatric Dentistry at Damascus University (1995-1999)
were classified according to the type and causes of malocclusion and the subsequent orthodontic treatment.
the malocclusions affected the anterior-posterior plane, 12.4 the vertical, and 35.9 the transverse. Most of the
malocclusions had causes which could be modified by preventive or interceptive efforts: thumb sucking (5.12), infantile
swallowing (3.84), mouth breathing (0.85), tongue thrusting (1.7), delayed exfoliation of a primary tooth
(3.41), premature loss of a primary tooth (9.82), delayed eruption of a permanent tooth (2.13), or an impacted
tooth (6.41). The subsequent early orthodontic treatment consisted of space maintainers (26), removable
(40.9), functional (11.9), or fixed appliances (21.2).
These data stress the importance of early
orthodontic diagnosis in paediatric practice. Malocclusion in this Syrian sample could be treated to a great extent with preventive or
interceptive orthodontics, which required only simple appliances and techniques.
Vol.8 – n.3/2007
Harvard: M. Alkilzy, A. Shaaban, M. Altinawi, CH H. Splieth (2007) "Epidemiology and aetiology of malocclusion among Syrian paediatric patients", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 8(3), pp131-135. doi:
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