Magalhães, I. B., Pereira, L. J., Andrade, A. S., Gouvea, D. B. and Gameiro, G. H. (2014), The influence of fixed orthodontic appliances on masticatory and swallowing threshold performances. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. doi: 10.1111/joor.12218
To test the hypothesis that treatment with orthodontic appliances disturbs masticatory and swallowing performances. Twenty-seven subjects with malocclusions requiring orthodontic treatment were included in this prospective study. The masticatory and swallowing performances were evaluated at five different times: before bracket placement (T0), immediately after archwire placement (T1), 48 h after archwire placement (T2), 30 days after archwire placement (T3) and 3 months after the initial appointment (T4). Masticatory performance was determined by the median particle sizes for the Optocal test food after 15 chewing strokes, and the swallowing thresholds were registered for both the test food and a natural food (peanuts). Pain during mastication was evaluated using a 100-mm visual analogue scale. Masticatory performance was significantly reduced at T2, at which time patients reported the highest pain values. The time spent to the first swallow was increased at T2 for the natural food but not for the test food. The values for pain, masticatory and swallowing performances at T3 and T4 were similar to those at T0. Orthodontic patient masticatory function is only reduced during the period of higher pain experience, which could also disrupt the deglutition of harder foods. However, neither mastication nor deglutition processes were disturbed by orthodontic appliances in long-term treatment.