Association between malocclusion and articulation of phonemes in early childhood

Angle Orthod. 2022 Jul 1;92(4):505-511. doi: 10.2319/043021-342.1.


Objectives: To evaluate the relationship between dental malocclusion and speech to understand the etiology of speech sound disorders (SSD) in schoolchildren and to make a correct diagnosis and treatment plan.

Materials and methods: Articulation and dental occlusion, oromyofunctional evaluation with orofacial praxis and musculature, resting tongue position, and swallowing pattern were analyzed in 290 schoolchildren between the ages of 4 and 7 years. Statistical tests were considered significant for P < .05.

Results: A significant association between dental malocclusions (Angle Class II and III, anterior open bite, edge-to-edge bite, overjet and anterior crossbite) and phonetic alterations (P = .008) was observed. Sigmatisms and rhotacisms were the most frequent disorders. Malocclusions also showed a significant association with oral habits and with orofacial praxis and muscle activity.

Conclusions: The presence of malocclusion can cause imbalances in the functions involved in the stomatognathic system. Awareness of this relationship in young children would help professionals to implement preventive measures for the optimum development of children's oral health.

Keywords: Atypical swallowing; Malocclusions; SSD; Sound speech disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Malocclusion* / etiology
  • Malocclusion, Angle Class II* / complications
  • Open Bite*
  • Overbite* / complications
  • Prevalence
  • Tongue Habits / adverse effects