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Online ISSN 1827-174X
Carossa S., Pera P., De Lillo A., Corsalini M., Lombardo S., Bucca C.
Background. Aim of the paper is to study whether edentulism, by causing a decrease in size and tone of pharyngeal musculature, may affect spirometric measurements.
Methods. Spirometry was recorded with and without dentures in 58 edentulous subjects, 36 asymptomatic normal subjects (N) and 22 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In 10 subjects retropharyngeal space with and without dentures was assessed by cephalometry.
Results. In the N group, removing dentures produced a significant decrease in lung volumes and airflow rates, while in COPD patients it was ineffective. In both groups, retropharyngeal space was significantly decreased by removing dentures.
Conclusions. Edentulism, by decreasing extrathoracic airway caliber, influences significantly spirometric measurements in normal subjects but not in those with COPD.