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Maternal breastfeeding, parafunctional oral habits and malocclusion in adolescents: A multivariate analysis
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology Volume 76, Issue 4 , Pages 500-506, April 2012
Malocclusion may result in
esthetic impairment and functional disorders such as bad chewing, speech
and swallowing, with a negative impact on quality of life. There is
uncertainty regarding the effects of breastfeeding on dentofacial
malocclusions. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the relationship
between maternal breastfeeding and dental malocclusions and facial
characteristics in adolescents with permanent dentition.
sampling of 2060 12- to 15-year-old students in a cross-sectional study
was used. Malocclusion, as defined by Angle, and facial characteristics
were the dependent variables. The duration of breastfeeding was the
main independent variable. Other covariates were tested as effect
modifiers or confounders. The associations were estimated using the odds
ratio (OR) in multinomial logistic regression analysis (α=5%).
There was an association between a short duration of breastfeeding (less than 6 months) and Angle class II (OR=3.14; 95% CI: 1.28–7.66) and class III (OR=2.78;
95% CI: 1.21–6.36) malocclusion only in students with a prolonged
history of bruxism. A higher occurrence of severe convex profile (OR=3.4; 95% CI: 0.63–18.26) and a lower occurrence of cancave profile (OR=0.43;
95% CI: 0.21–0.88) were also observed only among adolescents who had
been breastfed for a short period and exposed to a long periods of mouth
These findings support the
hypothesis that breastfeeding alone seems not to be directly associated
with malocclusions, but it may have a synergetic effect with
parafunctional oral habits on the development of occlusofacial problems.
It is recommended that deleterious oral habits be avoided, especially
by children who were breast-fed for less than 6 months.