Orofacial functions and oral health: An analysis on children aged 5-8 years old

J Texture Stud. 2022 Feb;53(1):31-40. doi: 10.1111/jtxs.12628. Epub 2021 Sep 19.


The aim of this study is to assess the orofacial function performance and oral health status of healthy children as well as their potential correlations. In this descriptive study, the oral functions of four hundred systemically healthy children who applied for the pediatric dentistry clinic were evaluated. Three scales, namely Karaduman Chewing Performance Scale (KCPS), Pediatric version of the Eating Assessment Tool (PEDI-EAT-10), and Nordic Orofacial Test Screening (NOT-S) protocol, are used to collect the data. These children's carious lesions were evaluated by using the decayed, missing, filled tooth/surface (DMFT/S, dmft/s) indices, the International Caries Detection and the Assessment-II System (ICDAS-II). In total, 400 (6.5 years [78.02 months]) children were participated in the study. Their KCPS scores indicate that 58.0% of the children were at level 0 and 35.8% were at level 1. The results of the KCPS levels and the DMFT, dmft, DT, dt, MT, mt (as =0 and ≥1) were found to be statistically significant; p = .044, p = .009, p = .008, p = .000, p = .032, and p = .003, respectively. The total PEDI-EAT-10 score of 13.4% of the children was found to be 3 or higher, suggesting that they experience a problem in swallowing. According to the NOT-S, the most affected domains were "habits" (51.0%), "facial expression" (49.3%), and "chewing and swallowing" (45.3%). Among healthy children without a defined problem in swallowing and orofacial functions, the oral health status may affect orofacial functions. Decayed (particularly, extensive caries existence) or missing tooth may have critical importance for adequate chewing in children. Especially in the presence of so many decayed or missing teeth, evaluating the orofacial functions through different scales may considerably contribute to early diagnosis of functional problems.

Keywords: children; dental caries; orofacial function; swallowing.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deglutition*
  • Eating
  • Habits
  • Humans
  • Mastication
  • Oral Health*