The relationship between dental overbite and eustachian tube dysfunction

James P. McDonnell, Howard L. Needleman, Steven Charchut, Elizabeth N. Allred, David W. Roberson, Margaret A. Kenna, Dwight Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between deep dental overbite and eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD). Design: Case-control study. Setting: Tertiary care pediatric otolaryngology outpatient clinic at the Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Patients: 105 patients between the ages of 2 and 6 years. Study Measurements: Dental overbite, overjet, and occlusal relationships were measured by an observer who was unaware of ETD status. ETD was defined as having ventilation tubes in place or having the recommendation for ventilation tube placement by an attending pediatric otolaryngologist. In addition, demographic information and medical and social histories were prospectively recorded. Results: In a multivariate logistic regression model, children with deep bites were 2.8 times more likely to have ETD than those without deep bites (P = .03). Other independent risk factors for ETD identified in this model were family history of otitis media (OM) and age less than 3 years. Conclusions: Children with deep dental overbites are at a significantly increased risk for developing ETD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-316
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Dental occlusion
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Otitis media
  • Overbite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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