National Stuttering Awareness Week is always observed during the second week in May, which means that we’re in the midst of this national health awareness week. Established in 1988, National Stuttering Awareness Week is designed to bring awareness to this unique and common mild disability. Today, Livonia, MI family dentist Dr. James Stewart wants to discuss how your child’s stuttering habit might be connected to his or her dental health.
What is Stuttering?
By definition, stuttering is a speech problem that is characterized by repetitions, pauses, or drawn out syllables, words, and phrases. Stutterers are different than people who experience more mainstream speech fluency problems because a stutterer’s disfluency is usually more severe and consistent than that of people who do not stutter.
Although stuttering is one of the more common speech conditions, there is no agreed upon cause. Some researchers believe that stuttering is a physical condition that is caused by a breakdown in the neurological system. Others believe that stuttering is caused by emotional and situational events, such as poor nutrition by the mother during pregnancy or the child being scared during infancy and early childhood. Still, others believe that some medications induce stuttering-like conditions, such as those used to treat depression, allergies, nerves, and poor sleep.
How are Stuttering and Dental Health Related?
The condition of stuttering has also been blamed on the position of the teeth. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your child receives the medical care they need to lead a healthy and high quality life, and this includes dental care.
As your child grows and develops, Dr. Stewart will monitor his or her dental development. When the time and need presents itself, Dr. Stewart will refer you and your child to a local orthodontist. If your child has a stuttering habit, this referral might come earlier in your child’s developmental process. Because early detection and treatment is necessary for the success of dental and orthodontic treatment, the sooner your child receives orthodontic treatment, the better chance he or she has of overcoming the speech impediment.
For more information about the connection between dental and orthodontic care, contact Dr. Stewart at our dentist office in Livonia, Michigan at (734) 425-4400, or visit us online at jamesstewartdds.com.