Effects of maxillary expansion and protraction on pharyngeal airway dimensions in relation to changes in head posture and hyoid position

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JOURNAL OF OROFACIAL ORTHOPEDICS-FORTSCHRITTE DER KIEFERORTHOPADIE, vol.84, no.SUPPL 3, pp.172-185, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Purpose To assess changes in pharyngeal airway dimensions, head posture and hyoid position after maxillary expansion and face mask (FM) treatment compared to untreated class III patients. Methods This study examined 24 class III patients (10 girls, 14 boys, mean age: 10.97 +/- 0.88 years) treated with expansion and a petit-type FM appliance and 24 untreated class III patients (16 girls, 8 boys, mean age: 10.50 +/- 1.06 years). Pre-and posttreatment cephalometric radiographs were digitally analysed. Parametric data were analysed with paired and independent-samples t-tests, nonparametric data were analysed with Wilcoxon signed-rank and Mann-Whitney U tests. Spearman's correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between dental/skeletal treatment changes and those of craniocervical postural position, pharyngeal airway dimension and hyoid position. Results With respect to the hypopharyngeal airway dimension, the hypopharyngeal sagittal length (CV3'-LPW), velar angle (HRL/U-PNS) and velar length (U-PNS) significantly increased in the treatment group. All the parameters describing head posture and those describing the distances of the hyoid bone to the HRL changed significantly after treatment, but these changes were not significantly different from the control group. In the treatment group, there also occurred a significant increase in the sagittal growth of the maxilla (SNA, Co-A, Na-Perp A, Wits), vertical growth of the maxillomandibular complex (SN-GoGN, N-ANS, N-Me), counterclockwise rotation of the maxilla (SN-PP) and overjet, while a clockwise rotation (y-axis) and a nonsignificant inhibition of the sagittal growth (Co-Gn) of the mandible were observed. The treatment induced increases of hypopharyngeal sagittal length (CV3'-LPW), soft palate thickness and anteroposterior movement of hyoid bone (H-CV3) demonstrated a positive correlation with changes of craniocervical angles (NSL/OPT, NSL/CVT) and a negative correlation with craniohorizontal angles (OPT/HOR, CVT/HOR). The change of the anteroposterior movement of hyoid bone (H-CV3) was also positively correlated with oropharyngeal sagittal length (CV2'-MPW), the hypopharyngeal sagittal length (CV3'-LPW) and the minimal dimension of the pharyngeal airway space (PASmin). Conclusion While expansion and FM treatment did not affect the head posture and hyoid bone position, positive effects were observed in the hypopharyngeal airway region.