Craniofacial changes and symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing in healthy children

Admin Dental Press

Edition V20N03 | Year 2015 | Editorial Article | Pages 80 to 87

Maria Christina Thomé Pacheco , Bruna Santos Fiorott , Nathalia Silveira Finck , Maria Teresa Martins De Araújo

Introduction: The main cause of mouth breathing and sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in childhood is associated with upper airway narrowing to varying degrees. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of morphological and functional craniofacial changes and the main clinical symptoms of SDB in healthy children. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted. A sample comprising 687 healthy schoolchildren, aged 7-12 years old and attending public schools, was assessed by medical history, clinical medical and dental examination, and respiratory tests. The self-perceived quality of life of mouth breathing children was obtained by a validated questionnaire. Results: Out of the total sample, 520 children were nose breathers (NB) while 167 (24.3%) were mouth breathers (MB); 32.5% had severe hypertrophy of the palatine tonsils, 18% had a Mallampati score of III or IV, 26.1% had excessive overjet and 17.7% had anterior open bite malocclusion. Among the MB, 53.9% had atresic palate, 35.9% had lip incompetence, 33.5% reported sleepiness during the day, 32.2% often sneezed, 32.2% had a stuffy nose, 19.6% snored, and 9.4% reported having the feeling to stop breathing while asleep. However, the self-perception of their quality of life was considered good. Conclusion: High prevalence of facial changes as well as signs and symptoms of mouth breathing were found among health children, requiring early diagnosis and treatment to reduce the risk of SDB.

Malocclusion, Mouth breathing, Quality of life,

Pacheco MCT, Fiorott BS, Finck NS, Araújo MTM. Craniofacial changes and symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing in healthy children. Dental Press J Orthod. 2015 May-June;20(3):80-7. DOI:

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