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Is there an association between skeletal asymmetry and tooth absence?

Guilherme Thiesen Bruno Frazão Gribel Keila Cristina Rausch Pereira Maria Perpetua Mota Freitas About the authors



Facial skeletal asymmetry is commonly found in humans and its main characteristic is menton deviation. The literature suggests that occlusal and masticatory problems arising from tooth absence could be related to the development of such asymmetries.


The aim of this cross-sectional study was to estimate the prevalence of mandibular skeletal asymmetries and to investigate its association with posterior tooth absences.


Tomographic images of 952 individuals aged from 18 to 75 years old were used. Asymmetry was the analyzed outcome, and it was categorized into three groups according to gnathion displacement in relation to the midsagittal plane (relative symmetry, moderate asymmetry, and severe asymmetry). Patients were sorted by the presence of all posterior teeth, unilateral posterior tooth absence, or bilateral posterior tooth absence. Chi-square test with a significance level of 5% was used to verify the association between posterior tooth absence and asymmetry.


Results show relative symmetry present in 55.3% of the sample, as well as the prevalence of 27.3% for moderate mandibular asymmetry and 17.4% for severe asymmetry. Moderate and severe mandibular asymmetries occurred in a higher proportion in patients with unilateral posterior tooth absence. However, there was no statistically significant difference between the analyzed groups (p = 0.691).


In this study, mandibular asymmetries did not present any association with the absence of teeth on the posterior area of the arch.

Facial asymmetry; Tooth loss; Epidemiology; Orthodontics

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