The tongue plays a crucial role when we speak and the existence of lingual dysfunctions can be accompanied by poor pronunciation or articulation of words such as lisp, sigmatism or swishing.
When we speak, the sound is modulated by the tongue and lips. The articulation of sounds is mainly done with the glottis and lips, that’s why we are able to read on the lips, not on the tongue.
The tongue, mainly the tip of the tongue, must make contact with an area called the “apex”, just behind the incisors, to pronounce the dental consonants: (L), (N), (D), (T). Try it!
When the tongue dysfunctions or misplaces during speech, it will move unintentionally and affect the articulation of sounds. It is then possible to see it placed behind the mandibular incisors or even protrude a little beyond the teeth anteriorly and/or laterally.
Be careful, some dysfunctional people still speak well.
The relationship between swallowing and phonation has been studied extensively.
Atypical swallowing is recognized as one of the causes of phonation disorders, for several reasons.
For example, when a person has lingual dysfunctions, the tongue interferes with the teeth or fills gaps. Moreover, in the same way as for feet or hands, tongue has its own proprioception: its own ability to find landmarks in space! On the other hand, a lingual dysfunction reduces these markers and leads it to adopt non-compliant positions, which affect the articulation of sounds and facial expression.
Lingual reeducation can correct phonation defects.
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