The relationship between acute otitis media and the anatomic form of the hard palate.Pediatr Dent. 2008 Jan-Feb; 30(1):9-14.PD
Acute otitis media (AOM) is a serious health concern for millions of children. This study was conducted to determine the relationship between AOM and the shape of the hard palate.
Intraoral examinations were performed on 175 pediatric dental patients ages 4-6. The palatal height was classified as high, medium or low. The accompanying parent completed a survey regarding their child's age, gender, overall health, history of AOM and presence of known risk factors for AOM.
Eighty five percent of the total sample had a positive history for AOM, with 76% experiencing AOM prior to age 1. High palatal vault was a significant finding in children that experienced AOM before age 1 (odds ratio 3.49). Logistic regression analysis revealed that children with high palatal vaults underwent tube placement more often than the rest of the study population (odds ratio 2.49).
Our study revealed a relationship between the presence of high palatal vaults and early, recurrent acute otitis media in young children. Recognition of high palatal vault in children suffering from AOM, in the presence of other known risk factors, may guide health care professionals to identify an otitis media prone patient and aid in prevention of recurrence.