A comparison of orofacial profiles in 5- and 10-year-old Swedish children with and without cleft lip and/or palate

Clin Oral Investig. 2019 Mar;23(3):1341-1347. doi: 10.1007/s00784-018-2562-3. Epub 2018 Jul 16.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cleft Lip / complications
  • Cleft Lip / pathology*
  • Cleft Palate / complications
  • Cleft Palate / pathology*
  • Dental Caries / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Sweden