Orofacial muscles activity in children with swallowing dysfunction and removable functional appliances

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Giuseppe Messina
Valerio Giustino *
Francesco Martines
Serena Rizzo
Alessio Pirino
Fabio Scoppa
(*) Corresponding Author:
Valerio Giustino | valerio.giustino@unipa.it


Swallowing dysfunction is a frequent disorder among children and refers to an altered tongue posture and abnormal tongue movement during swallowing. Removable functional appliance is one of the treatments applied by dentistry to correct this disorder. The aim of this study was to evaluate any differences on orofacial muscles activity in children with swallowing dysfunction with and without removable functional appliances. 68 children were eligible for the study and divided into the orthodontic group (OG) and the no-orthodontic group (NO-OG). Both groups performed a dental occlusion-class evaluation, a swallowing function test and a myoscan analysis in order to measure perioral forces (i.e. tongue extension force, lip pressure, masseter contraction force). Our results showed a significant difference (P=0.02) between OG and NO-OG for the tongue extension force, whereas no significant differences (P>0.05) were found for the other parameters. Our findings suggest that children with swallowing dysfunction and removable functional appliance show orofacial muscles activity within the range of reference values (except for the lip pressure). However, we hypothesize that orthodontic treatment can achieve more effective results with integration of myofunctional therapy.


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