Objectives: To investigate potential differences in the pharynx, the soft palate, the pharyngeal tonsil, and the tongue between patients with different Angle Classes of malocclusion.
Study Design: Pre-treatment lateral cephalograms of 116 normal breathing individuals aged between 9 and 12 years were analyzed. 20 linear and 4 angular measurements, as well as 5 variables concerning the surface area of the pharynx and the soft palate were evaluated.
Results: The angle formed by the palatal plane and the base of the skull had lower values in Class II groups. The soft palate height was smaller in Class II, div. 1 group. The angle between the soft and hard palates was smaller in Class III, followed by Class I, Class II, div. 2, and Class II, div. 1, with increasing values. The distance of the tongue from the palatal plane was larger in Class I and Class III groups. The surface area of the oropharynx was larger in Class III than in Class II groups. The total surface area of the pharynx had higher values in Class III than in Class II/1.
Conclusion: Subjects with Class II malocclusion may be more prone to develop respiratory related disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, followed by Class I and Class III subjects.
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