Ramona Amina Popovici

Title: Vicious habits and parafunctions – risk factors for oral health

Vicious habits are the most common functional tuburities of the dento-maxillary apparatus manifested especially in the preschool period, and which can become persistent throughout life. Usually the air circulation is through the nasal cavity, and correct swallowing is when the tongue rests on the palate, when the tip of the tongue, however, is between the upper and lower incisors, and the lateral edges between the occlusal surfaces of the premolars and molars, then we speak of an infantile type of swallowing. The dento-maxillary apparatus may also have a respiratory function in conditions of exertion (physical effort, febrile states), i.e. when oxygenation requirements are increased, air is inhaled through the oral cavity. Adaptation from nasal to oral breathing, which is a parafunction, occurs when changes such as chronic middle ear infections, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, upper respiratory tract infections and sleep disturbances (e.g. snoring) occur.

Causes responsible for the production of oral breathing syndrome are: alteration of the lumen, nasal cavity impermeability, deviation of the nasal septum, adenoid vegetations, tonsillar hyieprtrophies, bronchial asthma, allergies. Oral respiration present in the growing period is frequently associated with infantile-type swallowing, nail biting, finger sucking, sometimes even of the lower lip, and can negatively influence normal facial development. Thus, abnormal pulling of muscle groups on the facial bones results in their deformation, and a facial diarrhoea sets in. If these changes occur early in the period of facial growth and development, the changes are significant. Eventually, an open position of the oral cavity results, the upper lip is elevated, short, and the lower jaw is maintained in an open position – the elongated face syndrome. Disturbed oral and nasal functions imply the presence of a cardinal sign which is labial incompetence, the most important etiological factor in the morphology of malocclusion.