Adenoid facies, also known as long face syndrome, is a term that is used to describe people who have certain characteristic features which include a narrow, long face, short lip, open mouth, the tendency of breathing through the mouth, and a hyperactive swallowing pattern. This condition highlights the slightly odd looking expressions that these features lead to. Why does this condition come about and what is the effect of the same? That is what we will be studying about in the sections that follow.
Adenoid Facies and Adenoid Hypertrophy
In order to understand how this condition comes about, we need to get a little deep into the anatomy of a person. The adenoids, also known as nasopharyngeal tonsils or pharyngeal tonsils are a group of lymphoid tissues that are situated at the back of the mouth, in an area where the mouth blends with the nose. These adenoids are slightly swollen in children because they act as a natural defense for them. They prevent the germs from entering through the mouth and causing an infection. The enlarged adenoids in children naturally reduces by the age of 10. However, in some people, the adenoids do not shrink back in size and therefore lead to adenoid hypertrophy. Adenoids in adults are therefore as dangerous as they are in children.
Adenoid hypertrophy refers to the condition where there is a swelling of the adenoids (which could be due to an infection as well. In that way, adenoids and tonsils are connected) and therefore one's breathing is directly affected. The swollen adenoids cause nasal obstruction in patients, which then leads to mouth breathing. This in turn can lead to many other complications―adenoid facies being one of them.
For one, since the mouth of the patient is always open, the tongue and the palate of the mouth are never in contact and that leads to a narrowed, high arched palate. The emergence of a high palate does not allow enough place for the teeth to develop and they end up crowding the mouth. They emerge crooked and protruding.
Adenoid hypertrophy could also lead to an alteration in the accent of the voice because of the blockage of the nasal cavity as well as cause the child to drool while sleeping because of the inability to close the mouth.
Other than that, the upper lip gets thinned out and causes exposure of the upper teeth to the elements in the environment, thus causing tartar and plaque.
Nasal obstruction is often associated with deafness, which could develop in children suffering from adenoid hypertrophy. Therefore, the facial expressions are said to be vacant and adenoid removal becomes important.
Here are some of the facial characteristics of this condition and what they exhibit:
- Prominently placed upper teeth
- Crooked and crowded teeth
- Shortened upper lip
- High-arches palate
- Narrow upper alveolus
- Sleep apnea
- Eustachian tube blockage
- Slight ear deafness
- Vacant expression
Why does it become important to treat adenoid hypertrophy causing adenoid facies? This condition can cause deafness in a child and therefore interfere directly with child development and the learning process of the child. It can have a direct effect on the adjustment of a person in society and hamper his/her very living. Along with that, this condition also causes snoring and a breathing problem. Which is why the need to undergo treatment becomes important.
The treatment for adenoid hypertrophy is called adenoidectomy which involves the removal of adenoid tonsils through varied forms of surgeries which range from laser, cauterization etc.
Adenoid facies is a condition that can lead to a wide range of effects that can make life uncomfortable and cause adjustment problems. That is why it is important that we are alert and use a treatment program to cure this condition at the earliest.
Disclaimer - This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.