Frequency of parafunctional oral habits in patients with cerebral palsy

J Oral Rehabil. 2007 May;34(5):323-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2006.01703.x.


Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most frequent conditions encountered in the daily practice of dentists who treat special-needs patients and it seems that parafunctional oral habits are often present in such individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of occurrence of parafunctional habits in individuals with CP. Sixty-five patients with CP were evaluated through a questionnaire and clinical observation, regarding the following habits: pacifier-sucking, finger-sucking, biting objects, tongue interposition, and bruxism. The results showed that nine (13.8%) patients presented with pacifier-sucking, four (6.1%) showed finger-sucking, 12 (18.4%) had the habit of biting objects, 27 (41.5%) presented with tongue interposition, and 24 (36.9%) had eccentric bruxism. The significance of the presence of oral parafunctional habits in individuals with CP, revealed in this study, justifies the need to establish protocols for adequate prevention and clinical intervention in order to minimize the deleterious consequences that may result from such habits.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Adult
  • Bruxism / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fingersucking / adverse effects
  • Fingersucking / psychology
  • Habits*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sucking Behavior
  • Tongue Habits / adverse effects
  • Tongue Habits / psychology