Journal of the Korean Academy of Pediatric Dentistry 2012;39(4):339-347.
Published online November 30, 2012.
EFFECTS OF MOUTH BREATHING ON FACIAL SKELETAL MORPHOLOGY
Min-Jeong Lee, Jae-Gon Kim, Yeon-Mi Yang, Byeong-Ju Baik
Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Institute of Oral Bioscience, School of Dentistry, Chonbuk National University 
Correspondence:  Jae-Gon Kim,  Tel: 063-250-2128, Email: pedodent@chonbuk.ac.kr
Received: 23 July 2012   • Accepted: 14 November 2012
Abstract
There still remains a controversial debate whether facial skeletal morphological differences exist between patients with nasal and mouth breathing habits. The aim of this study is to assess a relationship between over a period of time mouth breathing and facial skeletal morphology by analyzing lateral cephalometric radiographs of patients with nasal or mouth breathing habits. A total of 120 patients with skeletal class I, II, and III, who had undergone orthodontic diagnosis in department of pediatric dentistry - chonbuk national university, were chosen and their lateral cephalometric radiographs were analyzed. These patients were divided into six groups of 20, each with or without mouth breathing habits. The result of this study has not showed noticeable differences in cephalometric measurements between nasal and mouth breathing children of skeletal class I, II, and III (p > 0.05). However, when the groups were divided by age factor, mouth breathers of age 12 and older showed significant differences in cephalometrics such as decreased ramus height, maxillary retrusion, and clockwise pattern of mandible than children under age 12 (p < 0.05). In conclusion, a longer period of mouth-breathing habits in children displayed a greater chance of impaired facial growth.
Key Words: Mouth breathing, Nasal breathing, Airway space, Facial skeletal morphology, Lateral cephalometric radiographs
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