Interaction between deglutition, tongue posture, and malocclusion: A comparison of intraoral compartment formation in subjects with neutral occlusion or different types of malocclusion

Angle Orthod. 2016 Sep;86(5):697-705. doi: 10.2319/101615-699.1. Epub 2016 Feb 19.


Objective: To test the null hypothesis of no significant difference in terms of intraoral pressure curve characteristics assessed simultaneously at the subpalatal space (SPS) and the vestibular space (VS), during different oral postures, between four groups with either an Angle Class II/1 (II1), Angle Class II/2 (II2), anterior open bite (O) malocclusion, or a neutral occlusion control group (I).

Materials and methods: Intraoral pressure recordings were performed simultaneously in the VS and SPS of 69 consecutive subjects (nII1 = 15; nII2 = 17; nO = 17; nI = 20; mean age/standard deviation 18.43/6.60 years). Assessments included defined sections of open mouth posture (OMP, 30 seconds), anteriorly closed mouth condition (60 seconds), dynamics by a tongue-repositioning maneuver (TRM, 60 seconds), swallowing, and positive pressure generation (PP, 10 seconds). Interactions of malocclusion, compartment location, and posture on pressure curve characteristics were analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U-tests, adopting an α level of 5%.

Results: Globally significant group differences were detected at the VS (plateau duration and median peak heights during TRM; area under pressure curve [AUC] during PP) and SPS (AUC during TRM and PP). Subjects with anteriorly nonopen dental configurations (groups I and II2) were able to keep negative pressure levels at the VS for longer time periods during TRM, compared to groups O and II1.

Conclusions: The null hypothesis was rejected for mean VS plateau durations and peak heights and for SPS AUC. Negative pressures at the VS may stabilize outer soft tissues passively and may explain the dental arch form shaping effect by mimic muscles.

Keywords: Deglutition; Intraoral pressure; Malocclusion; Norm-occlusion; Oral posture; Tongue posture.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Deglutition*
  • Dental Occlusion*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malocclusion*
  • Tongue*
  • Young Adult