Cleft and Non-Cleft Causes of Velopharyngeal Dysfunction (VPD) Velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD) can be defined as an impairment of the velopharyngeal valve, so that there is inadequate closure during speech. This can cause not only hypernasality and nasal emission, but it can also weaken pressure consonants and can result in the use of compensatory articulation productions. When there ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2001
Cleft and Non-Cleft Causes of Velopharyngeal Dysfunction (VPD)
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ann W. Kummer
    Speech Pathology Department, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati Medical Center
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2001
Cleft and Non-Cleft Causes of Velopharyngeal Dysfunction (VPD)
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, October 2001, Vol. 11, 2-9. doi:10.1044/ssod11.2.2
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, October 2001, Vol. 11, 2-9. doi:10.1044/ssod11.2.2
Velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD) can be defined as an impairment of the velopharyngeal valve, so that there is inadequate closure during speech. This can cause not only hypernasality and nasal emission, but it can also weaken pressure consonants and can result in the use of compensatory articulation productions. When there is significant loss of air pressure through the nose, the speaker may need to replenish the air supply more frequently during speech, causing utterance length to be reduced.
Velopharyngeal dysfunction is most commonly associated with a history of cleft palate, because, even after surgical repair, the velum may be short or muscle function may be inadequate. In fact, the speech characteristics of hypernasality and nasal emission are felt to be synonymous with “cleft palate speech.” However, velopharyngeal dysfunction can also occur due to a variety of other causes that are not associated with clefting. These causes can be divided into three categories: anatomical (structural) causes, physiological (neuromotor) causes, and mislearning of articulation (Kummer, 2000). This article will describe various causes of velopharyngeal dysfunction, including those that are not related to cleft palate.
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