Is Talking Out of the Side of Your Mouth a Disorder? (Dysarthria)

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In this blog, we will answer the question, “Is Talking Out of the Side of Your Mouth a Disorder?”, and also cover all about speech-related issues associated with Dysarthria, signs of dysarthria, its types, its causes, diagnosis, and prevention of dysarthria.

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Is Talking Out of the Side of Your Mouth a Disorder? (Dysarthria)

Yes, talking out of the side of your mouth can be a sign of a condition known as Dysarthria.

You might have noticed that some people have asymmetrical faces and talk with only one side of their mouth. This makes their speech slurred as well as difficult to understand. This condition is known as dysarthria. 

Let us understand it in detail.

What is dysarthria? 

Dysarthria is a motor-speech condition. It occurs when the muscles in your face, mouth or respiratory system that are required to produce speech are unable to coordinate or govern each other. It is usually caused by a brain injury or a neurological disorder like a stroke.

Dysarthria is a condition in which people have trouble coordinating the muscles that allow them to create normal sounds. Many components of your speech can be affected by this illness. It’s possible that you’ll lose your capacity to appropriately enunciate sounds or talk at a normal volume. 

It’s possible that you won’t be able to control the quality, intonation, or tempo with which you talk. It’s possible that your speech will become slurred or delayed. As a result, others may find it difficult to comprehend what you’re attempting to convey.

The type of speech problems you have will be determined by the underlying cause of your dysarthria. If your symptoms are caused by brain damage, they will vary depending on the location and severity of the injury.

Signs and symptoms of Dysarthria

Dysarthria symptoms can range from moderate to severe. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Talking too slow or too fast
  • irregular, erratic speaking rhythm
  • whispering or speaking softly
  • trouble altering the volume of your voice
  • Vocal quality that is nasal, strained, or hoarse
  • you have trouble coordinating your facial muscles
  • You’re having trouble chewing, swallowing, or controlling your tongue.
  • Drooling

Types of dysarthria 

The type of dysarthria varies on the component of the neurological system affected:

Central dysarthria: Damage to the brain causes central dysarthria.

Peripheral dysarthria: Damage to the organs responsible for speech causes this type of dysarthria.

It can be acquired or developed as well.

Developmental dysarthria

Brain injury causes developmental dysarthria, which can occur before or after a baby is born. For example, cerebral palsy can cause dysarthria.   

Developmental dysarthria is more common in children.

Acquired dysarthria

Later in life, acquired dysarthria occurs as a result of brain injury. Dysarthria can be caused by a stroke, a brain tumor, or Parkinson’s disease. Adults are more likely to develop dysarthria.

Causes of dysarthria 

The causes of dysarthria differ depending on the disease. Its types can manifest themselves at birth or later in life.

Any illness or accident that causes brain damage can cause central dysarthria. Here are a few examples:

  • Brain tumors
  • Dementia.
  • Certain medications can have side effects like sedatives and anti-seizure treatment related drugs
  • Stroke.
  • Traumatic brain damage 

Central dysarthria can also be caused by neuromuscular diseases

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, sometimes known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a type of neurodegenerative illness.
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects people of all ages.
  • Muscular dystrophy 
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder.
  • Damage to the organs responsible for speech causes peripheral dysarthria, which alters the way a person sounds. 

Damage to the speech centered organs causes peripheral dysarthria, which alters the way a person sounds. The following are some of the causes:

  • Structure difficulties that are congenital (given to you at birth).
  • Head, neck, tongue, or voice box surgery
  • Trauma to the mouth or face.

Diagnosis of dysarthria

Your speech may be evaluated by a speech-language pathologist to establish the sort of dysarthria you have. This can help the neurologist figure out what’s causing the problem.

In addition to a physical examination, your doctor may recommend tests to rule out any potential problems.

Imaging tests are performed. Imaging procedures like an MRI or CT scan produce precise images of your brain, head, and neck that can help you figure out what’s causing your speech problem.

Research on the brain and nerves. These can assist you in determining the source of your symptoms. The electrical activity in your brain is measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG). 

The electrical activity in your nerves as they convey information to your muscles is measured with an electromyogram (EMG). The intensity and speed of electrical signals as they flow through your nerves to your muscles are measured in nerve conduction investigations.

Blood and urine tests. These can assist evaluate whether your symptoms are caused by an infectious or inflammatory condition.

Puncture of the lumbar spine (spinal tap). A needle is inserted into your lower back by a doctor or nurse to retrieve a small sample of cerebrospinal fluid for laboratory examination. A lumbar puncture can be used to diagnose serious infections, central nervous system diseases, and brain or spinal malignancies.

A brain biopsy is a procedure that is used to examine the Your doctor may take a small sample of your brain tissue to evaluate if a brain tumor is detected.

Neuropsychological evaluations These tests assess your capacity to think (cognitive) skills, as well as your ability to understand speech, read and write, and perform other tasks. Dysarthria has no effect on your cognitive abilities, speech comprehension, or writing ability, but an underlying condition can. 

How to prevent dysarthria 

Dysarthria can be caused by a variety of factors, making it difficult to prevent. However, living a healthy lifestyle that minimizes your risk of stroke can help you avoid dysarthria. Consider the following scenario:

  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Maintain healthy body weight.
  • Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit your intake of cholesterol, saturated fat, and salt.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation.
  • Smoking and secondhand smoke should be avoided.
  • Don’t take any medications that your doctor hasn’t prescribed.
  • Take actions to control your blood pressure if you’ve been diagnosed with it.
  • If you have diabetes, stick to your doctor’s treatment recommendations.
  • If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you should get help.

Treatment of dysarthria (talking out of the side of your mouth disorder)

Speech therapy is frequently used as part of stroke recovery.

The reason and severity of your symptoms, as well as the type of dysarthria you have, will determine your treatment.

When possible, your doctor will treat the cause of your dysarthria, which may help you speak more clearly. If prescription medications are causing your dysarthria, talk to your doctor about altering or stopping them.

Therapy for speech and language

Speech and language therapy may be used to help you regain regular speech and communication. Adjusting speech rate, strengthening muscles, boosting breath support, improving articulation, and assisting family members in communicating with you are all possible speech therapy aims.

If speech and language therapy isn’t working, your speech-language pathologist may suggest that you try other communication strategies. Visual clues, gestures, an alphabet board, or computer-based technologies could all be used to communicate.

Coping tips

If you have severe dysarthria that makes it difficult to understand what you’re saying, the following tips may help you communicate more effectively:

  • Slow down your speech. With more time to consider what they’re hearing, listeners may be able to understand you better.
  • Begin small. Before speaking in longer sentences, introduce your topic with a single word or a short phrase.
  • Determine your level of comprehension. Request confirmation from listeners that they understand what you’re saying.
  • Keep it short if you’re weary. Your speech may become more difficult to understand if you are tired.
  • Always have a backup plan. It can be beneficial to write messages. Carry a pencil and tiny pad of paper with you, or type messages on a cellphone or hand-held device.
  • Make use of shortcuts. During chats, use drawings and diagrams or use photos so you don’t have to express everything.

Conclusion 

People may have difficulty understanding you if you have dysarthria, a speech impairment that causes slurred speech. Speech therapy can assist you in improving your communication skills and overall quality of life. 

Speech therapists can also assist your friends and family members in developing effective communication skills. Share your concerns with your healthcare professional if you’re having trouble speaking effectively or moving your lips, tongue, or jaw.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Is Talking Out of the Side of Your Mouth a Disorder? (Dysarthria)

What tests would I require to determine if I have dysarthria?

You may also require the following tests:

  • Neck and brain MRIs or CT scans are available.
  • Your capacity to swallow will be assessed.
  • Electromyography is a test that determines how well your muscles and nerves work electrically.
  • Blood tests  (to look for signs of infection or inflammation).

Are dysarthria and apraxia the same thing?

Another motor speech disorder is apraxia. It’s related to dysarthria in that both involve muscle tone or motor planning issues (the plan and act of moving muscle). People with apraxia have normal muscle function but struggle to make voluntary actions like speaking. The communication from the brain to the muscles telling them to move isn’t getting through.

Other speech disorders may be linked to dysarthria:

Dysphagia is a symptom of dysarthria that causes difficulty swallowing.

Aphasia is a condition in which you have trouble comprehending others or expressing your views.

What is the prevalence of dysarthria?

The prevalence of dysarthria is unknown to researchers. It occurs more frequently in patients with particular neurological disorders, such as:

  • Dysarthria affects up to 30% of persons with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s illness.
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS): Dysarthria affects about 25% to 50% of persons with MS at some stage.
  • Dysarthria is a symptom of Parkinson’s disease that affects 70 percent to 100 percent of patients.
  • Dysarthria affects from 8% to 60% of patients who have had a stroke.
  • Traumatic brain injury: Dysarthria affects 10% to 65% of patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.

What is the impact of dysarthria on my life?

You may have difficulties forming and pronouncing words if you have dysarthria. Others may have difficulty comprehending what you say. Speech issues can cause difficulty in social interactions, at work, and at school.

Dysarthria affects numerous of the body’s speech-related parts, including:

  • Tongue.
  • The larynx  (voice box).
  • Surrounding muscles.

Are there any conditions that make me more susceptible to dysarthria?

Dysarthria can be caused by an illness that affects the brain. Consult your doctor if you have a neuromuscular condition, a brain tumor, or a brain injury. They’ll talk about your chances of developing dysarthria and how to deal with it.

What strategies can people use to communicate with me?

These tactics can be used by your friends, family, partner, and loved ones to better communicate with you. They ought to:

  • I’d like to speak with you in a peaceful, well-lit environment.
  • When you’re speaking, pay special attention to yourself.
  • If they don’t grasp what you’re saying, ask them to let you know.
  • So you don’t have to start from the beginning, repeat what they did comprehend.
  • To aid communication, ask yes or no questions.

If you’re experiencing problems, it is better to write or point it out.

References 

https://www.healthline.com/health/dysarthria#Who-is-at-risk-of-dysarthria?
https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-physical-condition-or-whatever-it-is-that-causes-people-to-talk-smile-out-of-mostly-the-right-side-of-their-mouth
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dysarthria/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20371999
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17653-dysarthria

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