PURPOSE: To verify the occurrence of lisp in eight- to 11-year-old children from public schools in Itaqui/RS (Brazil), according to gender and age group, and to associate the lisp with possible risk factors, such as sucking habits (pacifier, finger and bottle) up to six years of age, malocclusion, oral breathing and tongue praxis. METHODS: An observational, exploratory, contemporary, prospective, group study was conducted using a questionnaire applied to caregivers and a speech-language evaluation that included examination of oral structures, tongue praxis, signs suggestive of oral breathing, and speech sounds articulation. Non-parametric statistics (Chi-square) was used in order to verify the association between variables. RESULTS: Two hundred children with ages ranging from eight to 11 years took part in the study (50% male and 50% female). The occurrence rate of lisp was 19%, higher for female subjects. It was observed that anterior lisp decreases with age, but the same did not occur for lateral lisp. Suggestive signs of oral breathing (p=0.037), prolonged use of bottle (p=0.027), tongue praxis alterations (p=0.002), and malocclusion (p=0.0001) were the risk factors that showed statistical association. CONCLUSION: The occurrence of lisp was high, and affected more female subjects. Most of the risk factors were significantly associated.
Speech-language pathology; Articulation disorders; Sucking behavior; Dental occlusion; Mouth breathing