ORTHODONTIC : Association between oral habits, mouth breathing and malocclusion


The ratio of bad habits, mouth breathing and malocclusion is an important issue in view of prevention and early treatment of disorders of the craniofacial growth.

While bad habits can interfere with the position of the teeth and normal pattern of skeletal growth, on the other hand obstruction of the upper airway, resulting in mouth breathing, changes the pattern of craniofacial growth causing malocclusion.

Our crosssectional study, carried out on 3017 children using the ROMA index, was developed to verify if there was a significant correlation between bad habits/mouth breathing and malocclusion.

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The results showed that an increase in the degree of the index increases the prevalence of bad habits and mouth breathing, meaning that these factors are associated with more severe malocclusions.

Moreover, we found a significant association of bad habits with increased overjet and openbite, while no association was found with crossbite.

Additionally, we found that mouth breathing is closely related to increased overjet, reduced overjet, anterior or posterior crossbite, openbite and displacement of contact points.

Therefore, it is necessary to intervene early on these aetiological factors of malocclusion to prevent its development or worsening and, if already developed, correct it by early orthodontic treatment to promote eugnatic skeletal growth.

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C. Grippaudo, G. Antonini, R. Saulle, G. La Torre, and R. Deli




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