Outcome of orthodontic palatal plate therapy for orofacial dysfunction in children with Down syndrome: A systematic review

Orthod Craniofac Res. 2018 Feb;21(1):20-26. doi: 10.1111/ocr.12211. Epub 2017 Dec 12.


To evaluate the effects of orthodontic palatal plate therapy (OPPT) in the treatment of orofacial dysfunction in children with Down syndrome (DS). Indexed databases were searched. Clinical trials in DS allocated to test (treatment with palatal plates) versus control group (without palatal plates/special physiotherapy for orofacial stimulation) with follow-up of any time duration and assessing mouth closure, tongue position, active and inactive muscle function as outcomes. Study designs, subject demographics, frequency and duration of palatal plate therapy, method for assessment, follow-up period and outcomes were reported according to the PRISMA guidelines. Eight clinical studies were included. The risk of bias was considered high in three studies and moderate in 5 studies. The number of children with DS ranged between 9 and 42. The mean age of children with DS at the start of the study ranged between 2 months and 12 years. The duration of palatal plate therapy ranged between 4 months and 48 months. The follow-up period in all studies ranged from 12 to 58 months. All studies reported OPPT to be effective in improving orofacial disorders in children with DS. Most of the included studies suggest that palatal plate therapy in combination with physiotherapy/orofacial regulation therapy according to Castillo Morales/speech and language intervention seems to be effective in improving orofacial disorders in children with DS. However, the risk of bias of the included studies was high to moderate. Longitudinal trials with standardized evaluation methods, age of children at treatment initiation, treatment duration and standard orofacial outcomes are recommended.

Keywords: Down syndrome; orofacial regulation therapy; palatal plate; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Down Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Facial Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lip / physiopathology*
  • Myofunctional Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Orthodontic Appliances*
  • Tongue / physiopathology*