Immediate impact of rapid maxillary expansion on upper airway dimensions and on the quality of life of mouth breathers

Admin Dental Press

Edition V20N03 | Year 2015 | Editorial Article | Pages 43 to 49

Edna Namiko Izuka , Murilo Fernando Neuppmann Feres , Shirley Shizue Nagata Pignatari

Objective: To assess short-term tomographic changes in the upper airway dimensions and quality of life of mouth breathers after rapid maxillary expansion (RME). Methods: A total of 25 mouth breathers with maxillary atresia and a mean age of 10.5 years old were assessed by means of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) and a standardized quality of life questionnaire answered by patients’ parents/legal guardians before and immediately after rapid maxillary expansion. Results: Rapid maxillary expansion resulted in similar and significant expansion in the width of anterior (2.8 mm, p < 0.001) and posterior nasal floor (2.8 mm, p < 0.001). Although nasopharynx and nasal cavities airway volumes significantly increased (+1646.1 mm3 , p < 0.001), oropharynx volume increase was not statistically significant (+1450.6 mm3 , p = 0.066). The results of the quality of life questionnaire indicated that soon after rapid maxillary expansion, patients’ respiratory symptoms significantly decreased in relation to their initial respiratory conditions. Conclusions: It is suggested that RME produces significant dimensional increase in the nasal cavity and nasopharynx. Additionally, it also positively impacts the quality of life of mouth-breathing patients with maxillary atresia. Mouth breathing, Palatal expansion technique, Cone-beam computed tomography, Quality of life questionnaire,

Izuka EN, Feres MFN, Pignatari SSN. Immediate impact of rapid maxillary expansion on upper airway dimensions and on the quality of life of mouth breathers. Dental Press J Orthod. 2015 May-June;20(3):43-9. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2176-9451.20.3.043-049.oar

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