Rapid maxillary expansion effects on nocturnal enuresis in children: a follow-up study

Angle Orthod. 2008 Mar;78(2):201-8. doi: 10.2319/021407-71.1.


Objective: To assess the effects of 10-14 days of rapid maxillary expansion (RME) on nocturnal enuresis (NE) in children who have long-standing resistance to medical therapy and to evaluate the long-term success rate after 10 years.

Materials and methods: Twenty-three children with NE, aged 6-15 years old (mean age = 10), who wet their bed almost every night and had never been dry were referred from pediatric specialists. Mean RME was 6.5 mm (range = 5-8), but only 7 of the 23 patients had lateral crossbites. Rhinomanometric measurements were taken before and after RME, and patients were interviewed 10 years after treatment.

Results: Positive effects of RME were observed in nearly 50% of the patients within 1 month of treatment: six were completely dry and five had notable improvements. Relapse in the overexpanded arches to a normal transversal occlusion was noted within 1 year. No correlation was found between success and improved airways, familial heritage, school performance, or other social factors. Younger children responded better to the treatment. Results were stable at the 10-year follow-up, and no adverse reactions were reported.

Conclusion: Orthodontic RME is a new option for treating children with NE who are resistant to medical therapy; the treatment has no adverse side effects.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Airway Resistance
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malocclusion / complications
  • Malocclusion / therapy
  • Nasal Obstruction / complications
  • Nasal Obstruction / therapy
  • Nocturnal Enuresis / etiology
  • Nocturnal Enuresis / therapy*
  • Palatal Expansion Technique*
  • Rhinomanometry
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires