top of page
  • Writer's pictureCAFF Team


Updated: Mar 3, 2022

According to an article in the May 2021 volume of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, there is a prevalence of malocclusion is higher in schoolchildren with signs of hyperactivity.

malocclusions and ADHD in children

The study included 633 children aged 7-12 years who were clinically examined for malocclusion using the Dental Aesthetic Index. Four key takeaways points from the study include:

  • There was a higher prevalence of malocclusion among children who used a pacifier for four years.

  • The prevalence of malocclusion was higher in mouth breathers.

  • In children with signs of hyperactivity, the prevalence was 42% higher.

  • Prevalence in these children was independent of age, pacifier use, mouth breathing.

Studies have shown that some comorbidities, such as autism spectrum disorders, depression, and anxiety, may be associated with ADHD. Children with ADHD are also more likely to have a shorter exclusive breastfeeding period and respiratory disorders involving upper airway obstruction, sleep-disordered breathing, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Respiratory disorders and a short period of exclusive breastfeeding are also associated with the occurrence of malocclusion, and studies have indicated a higher frequency of malocclusion and craniofacial changes in children with signs of ADHD.

It was also noted that children with ADHD often have a history of finger and thumbsucking. This is also a characteristic found in children with malocclusions.


Dr. Derek Mahony is a very well-known specialist orthodontist based in Sydney, Australia. In this video interview, he gives parents three takeaways on the connection between orthodontic problems, sleep-disordered breathing, and ADHD.


Children with underdeveloped dental arches and jaws may suffer from ADHD, depression, sleep issues, and other long-term health issues.

Airway-centric dentistry is critical for the health and wellbeing of all children.

If you are in the US or Canada you can use the Dentist Locator tool from Airway Health Solutions to locate an airway dentist in your area.

As with any medical condition, consult your child's pediatrician should you see any of these symptoms in your child or if you suspect your child is suffering from an airway disorder.


bottom of page