Some children have difficulty pronouncing specific sounds, words or letters. This is particularly the case when referring to the letters “s” and “z”. Otherwise known as a lisp, there are several reasons why this condition may present itself.
Let us take a look at some possible causes as well as if orthodontics may be able to correct the issue at a young age.
What Might Lead to a Lisp?
Lisps can often result from a condition which causes the tongue to fail to contact the roof of the mouth when forming specific letters. Doctors cite malocclusions as the primary cause of this scenario. In other words, the teeth within the mouth do not fit together as they should.
There are three types of malocclusions which can lead to a lisp:
- An underbite (occurring when the bottom teeth protrude further than the top teeth).
- An underbite (when the top set of teeth stick out further than the bottom teeth while the mouth is at rest).
- An open bite (even when shut, the teeth within the mouth do not touch).
Common orthodontic treatments such as braces have been used to correct all of the conditions pointed out above.
What Other Factors May be Present?
Still, there can be times when a lisp is caused by other situations. One example is known as a “tongue tie”. In this case, the tissues connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth are overly tense or too short. A “tongue thrust” can likewise occur if the tongue protrudes between the teeth when the mouth is at rest. Both of these can lead to a lisp if they are not treated.
Additionally, there can simply be times when incorrect pronunciation techniques were employed when specific words were first being learned. In this situation, the expertise of a speech therapist will often come in handy. It is nonetheless wise to speak with an orthodontist so that other potential problems can be ruled out in the beginning.
Treatment is Available
The good news is that the majority of children and adults who suffer from lisps have numerous options at their disposal. The best way to determine which treatments are the most appropriate is to speak with a dentist or orthodontist.
Our Myokids program is designed to help treat these problems early, so the child has the best chance of resolving the lisp problem quickly. If your child has a bite problem and/or a lisp, let’s discuss it. Danny the Dentist can help!