Renate Joseph


Two criteria of great importance for the well­being of most humans are good health and appearance. This paper is an attempt to examine the effect of allergies on both those criteria as far as the growth and development of the face and dentition are concerned. A review of the literature shows that allergies are responsible for nasorespiratory blockage either through congestion of the nasal mucous membranes or through the hypertrophy of tonsils and adenoids. Several articles report the incidence and age of onset of these phenomena. The development of immunocompetent lymphoid tissue in the nasopharynx is correlated with the growth of the nasopharyngeal area. An imbalance in the equilibrium of differential growth of these organs can result in mouth breathing. This paper will examine the consequences of mouth breathing as documented in studies performed on experimental animals, and as seen in clinical examinations of children. The review of the literature will also show that upon treatment of the allergic condition or surgical removal of the excessive tonsil and adenoid tissues it was found that the restoration of nasal breathing reduced the malformations present and resulted in a tendency towards normalization of health and appearance.