Objective: The parameters of orofacial dysfunction (OFD) in children can guide clinicians and researchers in the monitoring of deviations from normality. The aim for this study was to evaluate manifestation patterns and the prevalence of OFD in children.
Materials and methods: A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted involving 531 schoolchildren (8-10 years old) in a small city in southern Brazil. OFD was evaluated using the Nordic Orofacial Test-Screening (NOT-S). Poisson multiple regression analysis with robust variance was used to estimate adjusted NOT-S rate ratios (ratio of arithmetic means) among the different categories of covariables and their respective 95% confidence interval (RR: 95%CI).
Results: The mean NOT-S score was 2.1 (SD 1.4, median: 2.0; range: 0-8). The majority of children (87.6%) had at least one domain of the scale affected. The most affected were Chewing and Swallowing (50.5%), Habits (41.4%) and Breathing (26.4%). NOT-S scores were lower among children from higher income families (RR = 0.73; 95% CI: 0.61-0.87) and higher among those with difficulty regarding access to dental services (RR = 1.14; 95% CI: 1.01-1.28), those with sleep bruxism (RR = 1.18; 95% CI: 1.04-1.32) and those with open bite (RR = 1.65; 95% CI: 1.42-1.93).
Conclusions: The prevalence of OFD was high and both socioeconomic and clinical factors exerted an influence on NOT-S scores.
Keywords: Child; oral health; sleep disorders; stomatognathic system.