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Alterations in Maxillary Sinus Volume among Oral and Nasal Breathers

Kamil Serkan Agacayak, Belgin Gulsun, Mahmut Koparal, Yusuf Atalay, Orhan Aksoy, Ozkan Adiguzel

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, University of Dicle, Diyarbakır, Turkey

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:18-26

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.891371

Available online:

Published: 2015-01-02

Background: Oral breathing causes many changes in the facial anatomical structures in adult patients. In this study we aimed to determine the effects of long-term oral breathing (>5 years) on the maxillary sinus volumes among adult male patients.
Material and Methods: We accessed medical records of 586 patients who had undergone cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) for any reason between September 2013 and April 2014. Patients who had undergone cone-beam dental volumetric tomography scans for any reason and who had answered a questionnaire about breathing were screened retrospectively. Cone beam dental volumetric tomography (I-Cat, Imaging Sciences International, Hatfield, PA, USA) was used to take the images of the maxillo-facial area at a setting of 120 kVp and 3.7 mA. This study involved male patients older than 21 years of age.
Results: The study included a total of 239 male patients, of which 68 were oral breathers and 171 were nasal breathers. The mean age of the oral breathers was 48.4 years and that of the nasal breathers was 46.7 years and the difference was not statistically significant (p>0.05). The mean maxillary sinus volumes of the oral and nasal breathers were 9043.49±1987.90 and 10851.77±2769.37, respectively, and the difference in maxillary sinus volume between the 2 groups was statistically significant (p<0.001).
Conclusions: The volume of maxillary sinus in oral breathers (>5 years) was significantly lower than in nasal breathers, but it remains unclear whether this is due to malfunctioning of the nasal cavity or due to the underlying pathological condition.

Keywords: Cone-Beam Computed Tomography - methods, Adult, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Maxillary Sinus - radiography, Mouth - physiology, Nasal Cavity - physiology, Questionnaires, Respiration, Software, young adult