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J Craniofac Genet Dev Biol. 1991 Jul-Sep;11(3):170-5.

Developmental stage of the dentition and speech sound production in a series of first-grade schoolchildren.

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Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Kuopio, Finland.


This study was undertaken to investigate the effect of developmental stage of the dentition on speech sound production in children with and without articulatory speech disorders. In the whole sample, there were 281 subjects, mean age 7.5 years (SD 0.4). The stage of the eruption of the permanent incisors was calculated as the percentage height of each tooth of the mean crown height of the corresponding tooth in a group of 252 young adults. Eruptional stage of the first permanent molars was classified into three categories. Articulatory disorders were diagnosed by one experienced speech therapist and phoniatrician using the Remes Articulation Test [Remes, 1975] for the Finnish language. The results showed a wide interindividual variation in developmental stage of the dentition in a group of 7-year-old children with a tendency of the first permanent molars but not the incisors to erupt earlier in girls than in boys. Boys had a higher frequency of misarticulations estimated to need treatment than did girls. The present results indicate that during eruption of permanent teeth it is more important to draw attention to symmetrical eruption and to individual timing pattern rather than to the mean values of tooth eruption in subjects of the same age. The findings also suggest a decreasing risk of faulty speech sound production with advancing eruption of some permanent teeth still present in 7-year-old children.

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