Surface electromyography in orofacial and cervical musculature in mouth breathing children: an integrative literature review

ABSTRACT Purpose: to review, in an integrative manner, studies using surface electromyography in the orofacial and cervical musculature in mouth breathing children aged from three to 11 years and 11 months old. Methods: the survey was conducted in national and international databases, from 1998 to 2018, in Portuguese, English and Spanish. Review articles, dissertations, book chapters, case studies and editorials were excluded. Results: 86 articles were found, 14 of which met the inclusion criteria. Most of these studies used surface electromyography to assess and describe the muscle condition of the mouth breathing population. Only one study addressed the influence of myofunctional speech therapy and two studies included physical therapy treatment, using electromyographic evaluation before and after the intervention. Given the main categories of analysis, the discussion was based on the year, state of publication and journal, sample size, scientific methodology, muscles assessed, assessment protocols used and the results of the publications. Conclusions: surface electromyography has been used mainly in the initial assessment of orofacial and postural myofunctional changes caused by mouth breathing and not as a therapeutic biofeedback, thus, it is important to conduct longitudinal studies using this instrument in mouth breathers.