Journal of Rhinology 2012;19(1):55-59.
Published online May 31, 2012.
Impact of Open-Mouth Breathing on Upper Airway Anatomy in Patients with Sleep-Disordered Breathing
Ji Ho Choi, Young Joon Jun, Jeong In Oh, Jong Yoon Jung, Gyu Ho Hwang, Gun hwee Yum, Kang Woo Kim, Yeon Soo Kim, Soon Young Kwon, Seung Hoon Lee
Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, Korea University, Ansan Hospital, Ansan, Korea.
수면호흡장애 환자에서 구강호흡이 상기도 해부학적 구조에 미치는 영향
최지호, 전영준, 오정인, 정종윤, 황규호, 염건휘, 김강우, 김연수, 권순영, 이승훈
고려대학교 의과대학 안산병원 이비인후-두경부외과
Background and Objectives
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of open-mouth breathing on the upper airway anatomy of patients with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) based on polysomnography.
A total of 114 subjects (101 males and 13 females) with a mean age of 42.7 years and a mean body mass index (kg/m2) of 26.2 were enrolled in this study. All subjects were divided into four groups (simple snoring, mild obstructive sleep apnea syndrome[OSAS], moderate OSAS and severeOSAS) according to the apnea-hypopnea index. Lateral cephalometric radiograms (retropalatal, retroglossal, and hypopharyngeal distance, and pharyngeal length) were taken with the mouth closed and open.
The lateral cephalometric variables were compared between the mouth closed and open positions, and it was found that the retropalatal and retroglossal distances and pharyngeal length were significantly changed in all groups. However, the hypopharyngeal distance did not change significantly in any of the groups.
Open-mouth breathing significantly reduces the retropalatal and retroglossal distance and lengthens the pharynx in patients with SDB. Since these anatomical changes may worsen SDB or decrease positive airway pressure treatment compliance, ENT doctors should attempt to convert SDB patients from open-mouth breathing to nasal breathing.
Key Words: Snoring;Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome;Mouth Breathing;Cephalometry;Pharynx

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