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Spec Care Dentist. 2004 Jan-Feb;24(1):7-12.

Developmental stuttering: manifestations, treatment and dental implications.

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Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA.


Developmental stuttering (DS) is a disturbance in the normal fluency and time patterning of speech resulting in involuntary repetition, prolongation, or cessation of sound. The scientific literature has implicated the lack of strong left cerebral dominance and abnormal levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and possibly serotonin in regions of the brain controlling the coordination of language processing and motor activity of the vocal apparatus as possible causative factors in DS. Speech-language therapy is the most common form of treatment, but antipsychotic, antidepressant, and anxiolytic medications may be prescribed for some children and adults with persistent stuttering. These medications may cause xerostomia and adversely interact with certain antibiotics, analgesics, and sedatives routinely used in dentistry. Some people who stutter have sensory-motor and tactile-proprioceptive deficits that impede accurate and timely movements of the mandible, lips, and tongue, necessitating protection of the airway by staff during dental care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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