Dysglosia: Speech Disorder, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The term diglossia comes from the Greek (“Glossa”)

Definition: Dysglossia denotes a disturbance of the speech articulation due to damage or abnormalities of the speech organs or devices: the lips, tongue, jaw, palate, teeth, and vocal cords.

It is caused by damage to speech organs and usually appears in patients with slow and confusing speech disorders.

Dysglossia is treatable by speech therapy. The patient suffering from this disease has difficulty pronouncing certain sounds.

The language is often presented much slower, confusing, and indistinct to the listener. Other symptoms of this speech disorder may be sensory disturbances around the lips, tongue, or palate.

Also, paralysis of the facial muscles, frequent hoarseness, vibrating sound in the voice, or compulsive cough may occur.

Since the speech organs are also responsible for the swallowing process, dysplasia patients may also suffer from dysphagia. This can lead to hypertension and feelings of pain when swallowing.




There are many possible causes of diglossia. It often occurs due to accidents in the neck and facial area due to trauma and therefore causes damage to the speech organs.

It may also result from certain surgeries; the speech organs may be affected.

Tumors in the area of ​​organs responsible for speech or certain muscular diseases can affect speech devices and thus lead to this disease.

Another reason may be the deformation of a tooth or jaw. The labiapalatina (formerly known as “cleft lip”) causes an aperture in the jaw, causing diglossia.

Another cause may be the injury of specific cranial nerves connected to the respective organs of speech articulation and, therefore, cause paralysis.

Symptoms and typical signs

  • Speech disorders (problems with the articulation of words, difficulty speaking),
  • Sensory alterations in the mouth, tongue, palate, throat,
  • The paralysis of the muscles of the mouth.
  • Hoarseness and difficulty swallowing.


To help diagnose, a complete examination of the patient is essential since the causes of the disease can be very diverse.

Often an otolaryngologist is consulted, who makes the patient’s medical history. You should also contact a phonologist who specializes in diseases of the voice.

The doctor will look for differences between the lips, teeth, palate, or any other feature causing the dysglossia.


The primary treatment of diglossia is found in speech therapy since malformations usually can not be corrected surgically.

Depending on the severity of the disease, it can occur in patients externally or in a stationary manner.

Therefore, working with a professional team of doctors, psychologists, and specialists is recommended. Although there are many therapies available that are performed on the patient with the help of speech therapists; however, it is urgently necessary to start with the treatment and the essential medicines.

In the therapies, other exercises will be carried out for the palate, the lips, the language, and the pronunciation. Special swallowing therapies help the patient overcome discomfort.

Ultimately, it is essential to integrate therapies into daily life so that the treatment leads to the desired success.


To avoid diglossia can only try to prevent organic malformations since it is one of the leading causes.

For example, giving rise to different abnormal positions of the jaw, and sucking the finger, among others, can give rise to unnecessary pressure in the jaw and originate a deformation over time.