Q&A: Is My Smile Affecting My Speech?

The short of it is that, yes, the way your teeth are organized in your mouth can play a very serious role in your ability to articulate the words you use when you speak. For a more detailed understanding of speech patterns and smile, we invite you to consider answers to questions often brought to our attention by our patients.

Questions and Answers: Smiles and Speaking

Question: I’ve convinced myself that some of the words I have trouble pronouncing are due to my misalignment. Is this true or does the alignment of my smile have very little to do with my speech patterns?

Answer: Your alignment has a lot to do with your speaking. If you cannot close your teeth together properly or if it’s difficult to maneuver your mouth into particular positions, forming certain sounds may prove challenging or impossible. An aligned smile is one that gives you the necessary tools for fluid speech patterns.

Question: I’ve heard that tooth loss can negatively affect clear speaking. Is this a legitimate concern regarding missing teeth?

Answer: Of course. If you’re missing one tooth or many teeth, you will not be able to rely on your usual oral setup, which is the foundation for forming your words. Maybe you need to press your tongue against your teeth to create a consonant but that tooth is no longer there. Replacing teeth can protect your usual speech patterns.

Question: I’ve been told that since children’s teeth fall out naturally that it’s not as important to care for them as it is to care for permanent teeth. However, I thought baby teeth helped with speech development. Am I wrong?

Answer: You are correct. It’s very important to care for baby teeth because they do provide your child with an essential component to early speech development. They also guide permanent teeth as they grow.