Mouth breathing as a cause of orofacial anomalies

One breathes through the mouth when he/she is not able to breathe through the nose. The most frequent reason is obstruction in the nose or upper airways, which may be caused by infl ammation of the nasal mucosa, chronic infection, allergies or mechanical obstruction. The impact of nasal respiratory obstruction on the orthodontic status and facial growth is a controversial topic, which has been discussed over years. Given that this condition often occurs in childhood, or during intense growth and development, changing breathing pattern (from normal breathing through the nose to mouth breathing) aff ects development of the orofacial region. This has been demonstrated by many studies, in which these changes are present in Angle Class II malocclusion, frontal and lateral bite, and in disproportionate growth of the upper and lower jaws. Literature review revealed that obstruction of breathing through the nose, adenoids or tonsils occur in a large number of respondents. The vast majority of orofacial anomalies are due to the inability of breathing caused by nasal adenoid obstruction. A decrease in the intensity of present anomalies is recorded in cases in which interferences caused by hypertrophic tonsils and adenoids are eliminated (tonsillectomy and/or adenotomy) and rebreathing through the nose is established. Through collaboration among pediatricians, ear-nose-throat specialists, allergologists and dentistspediatric dentists and orthodontists in the detection and removal of increased palatal tonsils and adenoids, and implementing an early orthodontic treatment it is possible to redirect irregular growth back to normal by establishing rebreathing through the nose.

Keywords: abnormalities; respiration; airway obstruction; malocclusion; adenoids; palatine tonsil
Category: Review
Volume: Vol. 58, No 2, april - june 2014
Authors: Nataša Ivančić Jokić, Danko Bakarčić, Vendi Nastić, Martina Majstorović, Dubravka Negovetić Vranić
Reference work: Paediatr Croat. 2014;58:114-118

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