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BMC Oral Health

, 6:2

First Online: 21 January 2006Received: 24 August 2005Accepted: 21 January 2006


BackgroundThe purpose of this study was to investigate in oral breathing children the qualitative and quantitative effects on aerobic and facultatively anaerobic oropharyngeal microflora of respiratory function improved by rapid palatal expansion RPE.

MethodsIn an open clinical trial, we studied 50 oral breathers, aged 8 to 14 years and suffering from both maxillary constriction and posterior cross-bite. At baseline, patients were examined by a single otorhinolaryngologist ENT, confirming nasal obstruction in all subjects by posterior rhino-manometric test. Patients were evaluated three times by oropharyngeal swabs:1 at baseline T = 0; 2 after palatal spreading out T = 1; and 3 at the end of RPE treatment T = 2. With regard to the microbiological aspect, the most common and potentially pathogenic oral microrganisms i.e. Streptococcus pyogenes, Diplococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus spp, Branhamella catarrhalis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Candida albicans were specifically detected in proper culture plates, isolated colonies were identified by means of biochemical tests and counted by calibrated loop. The data were analyzed by means of the following tests: Chi-square test, Fisher-s exact test and Wilcoxon-s test.

ResultsAfter the use of RME there was a statistically significant decrease of Staphylococcus aureus stock at CFU-mLat T1P = 0.0005; Z = -3,455 by Wilcoxon Rank test and T2 P < 0.0001; Z = -4,512 by Wilcoxon Rank test vs T0. No significant changes were found for the other examined microrganisms.

ConclusionOur data suggest that RPE therapy in oral breathers may strongly reduce the pathogenic aerobic and facultatively anaerobic microflora in the oral pharynx after a normalization of the upper airways function, and may reduce the risk of respiratory infections.

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Autor: Angela Pia Cazzolla - Giuseppina Campisi - Grazia Maria Lacaita - Marco Antonino Cuccia - Antonio Ripa - Nunzio Francesco


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