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Speech Problems? Maybe It’s Your Teeth

Crooked teeth may cause a variety of oral health issues and lifestyle changes. Speech is one of the parts heavily affected by malocclusion. So if you have difficulty speaking words properly, your crooked teeth might be the cause.

Teeth and speech

A study confirmed the relationship between malocclusion and speech. Researchers from the University of Bristol Dental School studied 410 students and analysed their speech. They found that those with malocclusion had more difficulty pronouncing dental sounds than those with normal teeth alignment. In addition, the degree of speech problems varied depending on the severity of the dental anomaly.

How it happens

People can pronounce words because of the teamwork of teeth and tongue. They create sounds by curling or pressing lips against the teeth. Sounds come out perfectly with perfectly aligned teeth.

If teeth are misaligned, those that are out of line, regardless of whether these are leaning forward or backward, may lead to distortions in speaking patterns. Sounds will not leave your mouth correctly when the upper and lower teeth do not fit together.

Speech problems are worse if you already have existing oral conditions. Bruxism or habitual teeth grinding cause damage to the jaw, changing the clarity of speech. People with bad bites experience problems pronouncing certain letters, as well. If you inherited crowded teeth, your tongue will have less room to move, causing you to slur.

Prevention and Treatment

Crooked teeth may occur due to genetics or childhood habits. Dentists advise parents to encourage their kids to respect proper oral hygiene to prevent malocclusion. Oral habits like thumb sucking, biting and grinding hard objects, and excessive bottle-feeding may lead to bite and speaking problems.

Treatment of malocclusion requires the use of braces and other teeth aligners. These adjust the positioning of the teeth to improve sounds and pronunciation of words. Braces may sometimes cause difficulties especially for first time wearers. With prolonged use and practice, however, people may overcome these issues and say words properly.

Your teeth may be the cause of your lisp or other speech problems, which can make you conscious when talking to people. With orthodontic treatments, you will not only correct your speech but eventually talk and smile to people with confidence. Orthodontists can help improve your teeth, smile and speech. We offer a wide range of teeth aligners so you improve your quality of life. Find out more about our dental braces.

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Dr Hooman Sanaty and his team at Glow Dental in Battersea are brilliant. From the moment you walk into the dental practice you are treated with genuine smiles, warmth and kindness by the reception team which has a calming effect and puts you at ease instantly.- Alia M
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