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Associations between sleep-disordered breathing symptoms and facial and dental morphometry, assessed with screening examinations
American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics Volume 140, Issue 6 , Pages 762-770, December 2011
Chronic snoring is considered abnormal in a
pediatric population. This disorder is often attributed to enlarged
tonsils and adenoids, but multiple anatomic obstructions should also be
considered. Facial and dental morphometry associations with various
sleep-disordered breathing symptoms were investigated at an orthodontic
Parents or guardians were asked to
complete a 4-part questionnaire on behalf of their children (n =
604; <18 years of age), including medical and dental history, bruxism
and temporomandibular disorder habits, sleep and daytime behavior, and
sleep duration and quality. All subjects underwent a clinical screening
assessment by the same orthodontist to identify standard dental,
skeletal, functional, and esthetic factors.
contrast to sleep-disordered breathing or sleep apnea in adults, which
is predominantly associated with obesity, sleep-disordered breathing
symptoms in this pediatric cohort were primarily associated with
adenotonsillar hypertrophy, morphologic features related to a long and
narrow face (dolichofacial, high mandibular plane angle, narrow palate,
and severe crowding in the maxilla and the mandible), allergies,
frequent colds, and habitual mouth breathing.
of the recognized impact of pediatric snoring on children’s health, the
determination of these good predictors can help in preventing and
managing sleep-disordered breathing. If a health professional notices
signs and symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing, the young patient
should be referred to a sleep medicine specialist in conjunction with an
orthodontist if there are dentoskeletal abnormalities.