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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO

Velopharyngeal dysfunction

Velopharyngeal dysfunction

The velopharyngeal valve is a complex structure that serves to separate the oral and nasal cavities during speech. Velopharyngeal dysfunction is characterized by the inability to open and close this valve accurately and efficiently during phonation, and may result from structural causes such as, for example, insufficient palatal dimension in length even after repair surgery and/or poor articulatory acquisition . Children with velopharyngeal dysfunction may develop compensatory articulation errors, such as changes in glottic closure, nasal gasp, and hypernasal speech, which may increase the risk of communication limitations and decrease socialization. In some forms, even more serious ones, alterations appear such as palatal anomalies, craniofacial dimorphisms, the most common of which are submucosal cleft palate, palatopharyngeal hypotonia, soft palate elevation. Neurologically, neuromotor differences, such as motor speech delays and/or cranial nerve dysfunction, have been identified as contributing factors to velopharyngeal dysfunction in children.

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