Upper Airway Morphology and Head Posture in Healthy Men and Women

Aynur Medine ŞAHİN SAĞLAM, Neslihan Ebru ŞENIŞIK


Objectives: The aim of our study was to investigate morphological differences in the upper airway of healthy men and women on lateral cephalometric radiographs.
Materials and Methods: In our study, we evaluated 76 lateral cephalometric radiographs of adult subjects (38 men and 38 women) with class I skeletal pattern taken in natural head posture. In order to determine natural head posture, we used self-balance position, which was transferred to the cephalostat by means of a fluid level device. All lateral cephalograms were traced manually. The effect of gender on upper airway morphology and natural head posture was evaluated using Student’s t-test.
Results: We found that measurements used in the determination of natural head posture were similar for men and women. Linear measurements regarding the position of bony structures (MP-AH, AH-AH1, C3ia-AH, and Ba-C3ia), soft tissue (PNS-P, MPT, PNS-Et, TGL, and TGH), tongue area, soft palate area, and oropharynx area were statistically significant, with respect to gender.
Conclusion: The hyocervical relation is affected by gender differences whereas hyomandibular relation is well balanced in subjects with normal occlusion and class I skeletal pattern and was not affected by gender. Natural head posture was not affected by gender differences. Tongue area, soft palate area, and oropharyx area are larger in men. However, no statistically significant differences were observed between genders for nasopharynx and hypopharyx areas.