Missing Teeth Can Make it Harder to Speak
Posted on 12/21/2020 by Advanced Dental Associates
|Speech problems are among the many consequences that come with missing teeth. Our teeth play an important role in making sounds, so if we are missing one or more teeth, communicating becomes significantly more difficult. Luckily, there are a variety of treatment options that can restore both the appearance of your smile and your ability to speak properly.
How Do Teeth Affect Speech?
Your teeth, lips, and tongue work together to form the sounds that make up everyday speech. You probably do not even think about the role your teeth play in speech until you lose a tooth, but there are several letter sounds that rely on your teeth. For example, the “th” sound requires your upper teeth to touch your tongue, while the “f” sound requires your upper teeth to touch your lower lip. Missing teeth, especially your top front teeth, make it difficult or impossible to form these sounds and others, such as “v,” “s,” and “z.” People may have a hard time understanding you, which can be frustrating and embarrassing. Missing teeth already makes you feel self-conscious of your smile, and speech problems can diminish your self-confidence even more.
Options for Replacing Teeth
There are many options for replacing missing teeth. Crowns and bridges are useful if you are missing a single tooth or a few teeth in one area. Crowns are single prosthetic teeth made of porcelain, metal, porcelain fused to metal, or resin. Bridges are rows of crowns that are held in place by your healthy teeth on either side, “bridging” the gap in your teeth. Both crowns and bridges can be supported by dental implants for a permanent dental restoration that looks and functions just like your natural teeth, allowing your speech to be fully restored.
For people who are missing most or all of their teeth, the all-on-4 treatment concept is the best way to restore a full arch of teeth. This type of restoration consists of a denture, or an entire arch of prosthetic teeth, that is supported by four (or up to six) dental implants. Traditional removable dentures do not typically improve speech by much because they are held in your gums using only suction, so they can slip around and make it difficult to speak. Dentures that are fixed in your jaw with dental implants, on the other hand, will greatly improve your speech in addition to restoring the appearance of your smile.
If you are missing teeth and having difficulty with speech, call our office today to discuss your options.