Orthodontic treatment improves chewing and swallowing

By Gustavo Hauber Gameiro, Associate professor, Department of Physiology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Results of research conducted at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), in Brazil, showed that correction of malocclusions with fixed appliances can improve the processes of chewing and swallowing. Furthermore, the research underscored the obvious advantages of orthodontic treatment for functional as well as aesthetic reasons. The study was published in edition vol. 22, no. 3 of the Dental Press Journal of Orthodontics under the title “Is the main goal of mastication achieved after orthodontic treatment? A prospective longitudinal study.”

The study focused on the investigation of the masticatory and swallowing performances of patients with malocclusion before and after orthodontic treatment, comparing them with a control group with normal occlusion, matched by age and sex.

Twenty-three patients with malocclusion requiring orthodontic treatment were included in this prospective study. One month after the appliances were removed, seventeen patients completed the follow-up examinations, and their data were compared with those of a control group with thirty individuals with normal occlusion. The masticatory performance was determined by the median particle size of the Optocal Plus® test food after 15 masticatory cycles, and three variables related to swallowing were assessed: a) time and b) number of cycles required to prepare the test food for swallowing, and c) median size of the particles crushed at the time of swallowing.

At the initial examination, the group with malocclusion presented a lower masticatory performance and did not reach the reduction of particle size at the moment of swallowing when compared to the control group. After treatment, masticatory performance increased significantly in the group with malocclusion, and the reduction in particle size at the time of swallowing reached the same level as the control group.

Although there are reports in the literature about functional benefits induced by orthodontic treatment, the present study was the first to longitudinally examine the effects of treatment with fixed appliances on chewing and swallowing performances using objective measures. These analyzes are necessary because patients usually overestimate their masticatory capacity when evaluated only by subjective methods (VAN DER BILT, 2011).


VAN DER BILT, A. Assessment of mastication with implications for oral rehabilitation: a review. J Oral Rehabil. 2011, vol. 38, no. 10, pp. 754-780 [viewed 25 August 2017]. DOI.: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2010.02197.x

To read the article, access it:

GAMEIRO, G. H., et al. Is the main goal of mastication achieved after orthodontic treatment? A prospective longitudinal study. Dental Press J. Orthod. [online]. 2017, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 72-78, ISSN: 2177-6709 [viewed 25 August 2017]. DOI: 10.1590/2177-6709.22.3.072-078.oar. Available from: http://ref.scielo.org/f646t3

External Link

Dental Press Journal of Orthodontics – DPJO: <http://www.scielo.br/dpjo>


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

GAMEIRO, G. H. Orthodontic treatment improves chewing and swallowing [online]. SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases, 2017 [viewed ]. Available from: https://pressreleases.scielo.org/en/2017/09/28/orthodontic-treatment-improves-chewing-and-swallowing/


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