Causal relationship between malocclusion and oral muscles dysfunction: a model of approach

Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2012 Dec;13(4):321-3.


Aim: Bad habits result in altered functions which with time can cause anomalies of the orofacial morphology. To solve these problems, orthodontic treatment can be supported by myofunctional therapy in order to recover the normal functionality of the oral muscles. The aim of this study is to assess the need to treat patients with neuromuscular disorders, from both the occlusion and the muscles condition approach in order to obtain the balance needed for the stability of treatment.

Materials and methods: A sample of 23 patients with atypical swallowing was included in this study, some of them presented thumb sucking and oral breathing. After case history collection, in order to make a correct orthodontic and functional diagnosis, correction of anomalies was carried out since they could compromise the success of the therapy (maxillary contraction, oral breathing, and short lingual fraenum). Then a different therapeutic approach was applied on the basis of the specific dental features.

Results: Both from the diagnostic and therapeutic point of view, important results were achieved especially through muscle analysis with dynamometer and surface electromyography.

Conclusion: Orthodontic therapy, in the presence of bad habits, is not enough to solve orthodontic issues, it must be combined with a myofunctional treatment. The success of the therapy is granted only when patients and their family comply with the treatment and all factors which can prevent success of the therapy are removed.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy
  • Adolescent
  • Cephalometry / methods
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chin / pathology
  • Deglutition Disorders / complications*
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Fingersucking / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Lingual Frenum / abnormalities
  • Lingual Frenum / surgery
  • Lip / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Malocclusion / etiology*
  • Mouth Breathing / complications
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Strength Dynamometer
  • Muscle Tonus / physiology
  • Myofunctional Therapy
  • Open Bite / therapy
  • Overbite / therapy
  • Palatal Expansion Technique
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Speech Therapy
  • Tongue Habits / adverse effects*
  • Tonsillectomy