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Open Access Research article

Clinical association between teeth malocclusions, wrong posture and ocular convergence disorders: an epidemiological investigation on primary school children

Armando Silvestrini-Biavati1, Marco Migliorati1, Eleonora Demarziani2, Simona Tecco3, Piero Silvestrini-Biavati4, Antonella Polimeni5 and Matteo Saccucci5*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthodontics, University of Genova, Genoa, Italy

2 Dental Practitioner, Savona, Italy

3 Department of Medical, Oral and Biotechnological Sciences, University G. D’Annunzio Chieti, Chieti, Italy

4 Dental Practitioner, Postural Gnathologist, Genoa, Italy

5 Department of Pedodontics, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

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BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:12  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-12

Published: 23 January 2013

Abstract

Background

As the various systems in the body are inter-connected to form a single structural unit, a pathological condition in one area can also affect other areas. There are many known correlations between the visual and motor system. The importance of visual function, particularly the paracentral peripheral field of view, in motor coordination, ambulation and the maintenance of balance has been amply demonstrated.

In line with current medical principles, which are moving towards a more holistic view of the human body, this study aims to investigate, in an interdisciplinary manner, the incidence of dental malocclusions together with posture and eye convergence disorders.

Methods

Six hundred and five children attending at the 3rd, 4th and 5th years of seven Genoa primary schools were examined. Each child underwent the following examinations: (i) dental/occlusal; (ii) orthoptic; and (iii) postural. Occlusal data concerned the presence of cross-bite, midline deviation with a mandibular shift, bad habits and deep or open bite.

Postural assessment involved frontal and lateral inspection, investigation during trunk flexion and ambulation, and note of any asymmetry in the lower limbs. The recorded orthoptic data included those pertaining to ocular dominance, a cover test, convergence and the Brock string test.

Results

A prevalence of cases with an unphysiological gait was found in patients with overjet (14.70%) or overbite (14.87%), while the percentage of patients with normal occlusion that showed an unphysiological gait was 13.08%. Also, about 93.8%–94.2% of children showed normal legs without dysmetry, with no difference in respect to the type of occlusion. Subjects with an open bite or deep bite showed a slightly different distribution of right or left dominant eyes.

Conclusion

About 13% of children showed a pathological gait and, among them, vertical anomalies of occlusion (deep bite or open bite) were prevalent with respect to the other occlusal defects. The vertical dimension of occlusion revealed a slight relationship with the proper dominant eye. Postural, orthoptic, osteopathic and occlusal variables were often clinically associated, and therefore these disorders appear to request a multidisciplinary medical approach for their treatment.

Keywords:
Teeth malocclusions; Wrong posture; Ocular convergence disorders