The ratio of bad habits, mouth breathing and malocclusion is an important issue in view of prevention and early treatment of disorders of the craniofacial growth. While the bad habits can interfere with the position of the teeth and the normal pattern of skeletal growth, on the other hand obstruction of the upper airway, resulting in mouth breathing, changes the pattern of craniofacial growth causing malocclusion. Our cross-sectional study, carried out on 3017 children using the ROMA index, was developed to verify if there was really a significant correlation between bad habits/mouth breathing and malocclusion. The results showed that with the increase of the degree of the index also increases the prevalence of bad habits and mouth breathing, meaning that these factors are associated with more severe malocclusions. Moreover we found a significant association of bad habits with increased overjet and openbite, while no association was found with crossbite. Additionally we found that mouth breathing is closely related to increased overjet, reduced overjet, cross bite, openbite and displacement. Therefore it is necessary to intervene early on these etiological factors of malocclusion to prevent the its development or worsening and, if it has already developed, correct it by early orthodontic treatment to promote eugnatic skeletal growth.
- oral habits