Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2011 May;139(5):e405-14
Department of Orthodontics, Center of Dental Sciences, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey.
Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate the position and movements of the tongue in patients with skeletal Class III malocclusion.
Methods: Sixty-six patients (31 male, 35 female) with Class III malocclusion were divided into 3 groups according to cephalometric analysis. The first group comprised 23 patients (13 male, 10 female) with mandibular prognathism, the second group comprised 21 patients (9 male, 12 female) with maxillary retrognathism, and the third group comprised 22 patients (9 male, 13 female) with both maxillary retrognathism and mandibular prognathism. Twenty-two skeletal Class I patients (10 male, 12 female) were also included as the control group.
Results: Dentofacial morphology affects the position and the movements of the tongue during deglutition. Contact of the anterior portion of the tongue with the rugae area of the hard palate decreased in the Class III malocclusion groups. The posterior portion of the dorsal tongue was positioned more inferiorly, and the root of the tongue was positioned more inferiorly and anteriorly in patients with Class III malocclusion than in the control group. The tip of the tongue was also in a more anterior position in the Class III groups. When the deglutition stages were evaluated, we observed that the manner of bolus transfer was different in patients with skeletal Class III malocclusion than in those with skeletal Class I malocclusion.
Conclusions: Tongue posture is affected by dentofacial structures, and adaptive changes occur in the tip, dorsum, and root of the tongue. Deglutitive tongue movements in patients with skeletal Class III malocclusion are also different from those with skeletal Class I malocclusion.