Aim of the present study was to evaluate existing correlations between oral breathing and dental
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" (Italy). 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
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.
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.
Vol.10 – n.2/2009
Harvard: A. M. Zicari, F. Albani, P. Ntrekou, A. Rugiano, M. Duse, A. Mattei (2009) "Oral breathing and dental malocclusions", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 10(2), pp59-64. doi:
Copyright (c) 2021 Ariesdue
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.