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Niger Postgrad Med J. 2019 Jul-Sep;26(3):152-157. doi: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_71_19.

The effects of playing wind musical instruments on the occlusal characteristics in a Northern Nigerian Population.

Author information

Department of Child Dental Health, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria.
Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.



Dentists are often questioned on whether playing a wind musical instrument can adversely affect dental occlusion. This study compared the occlusal characteristics in wind instrument players (WIPs) and non-WIPs.

Materials and Methods:

This was a cross-sectional comparative study comprising a group of fifty males aged 18-45 years that had been playing wind instruments for a minimum of 2 years, whereas the control group were non-WIPs in the same environment. All the participants had full complement of dentition. The occlusal characteristics of overjet, overbite, anterior open bite and Little's irregularity were assessed for both groups. Excellent intra-examiner reliability was observed (Cronbach's alpha - 0.997). The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) version 17 was used for data analysis, and statistical significance level was set at P < 0.05.


The number of years of playing wind musical instrument ranged from 2 to 25 years. The mean overjet was 3.46 ± 1.49 mm and 3.18 ± 1.27 mm in the WIP and non-WIP groups, respectively (P > 0.05). The maxillary anterior segment showed statistically significantly higher Little's Irregularity Index score in the WIP group (3.18 ± 3.73 mm) than that in the non-WIP group (1.87 ± 2.21 mm) (P < 0.05). The maxillary Little's Irregularity Index score in trumpet and trombone players (3.55 ± 3.93 mm) was significantly higher than that in saxophone and clarinet players (1.69 ± 2.39 mm). Both the maxillary and mandibular anterior-segment alignments were neither influenced by the number of years nor the frequency of play.


Playing wind musical instruments significantly affects the maxillary anterior-segment alignment.


Little's irregularity; occlusal characteristics; overbite; overjet; wind instrument players

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