Objectives: The objectives of this study were to assess orofacial profiles in 5- and 10-year-old children with cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) compared to controls and to estimate a possible association between orofacial dysfunction and caries frequency.
Materials and methods: A total of 133 children with CL/P (77 5-year-olds and 56 10-year-olds) and 308 controls (142 5-year-olds and 166 10-year-olds) were included in the study. Orofacial function was evaluated with Nordic Orofacial Test-Screening (NOT-S), and caries were scored according to the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS).
Results: The total NOT-S score was higher in children with CL/P compared to controls (mean 3.2 vs 0.9, p < 0.001). The domains frequently scored in CL/P children were speech (82%), face at rest (72%), and facial expression (58%). There was a significantly positive correlation between NOT-S scores and caries frequency.
Conclusions: Children with CL/P have impaired orofacial function compared to controls. There seems to be a correlation between orofacial function and caries.
Clinical relevance: Impaired orofacial function seen in children with CL/P can be one of many risk factors for caries development, and it is suggested to be a part of caries risk assessment.
Keywords: Caries; Children; Cleft lip and/or palate; NOT-S; Orofacial function.