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3150 North Elm Street, Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408

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Greensboro Dental Clinic, Dr. Margaret Szott | ALL blog posts
March 16, 2019

How Your Teeth Affect Your Speech

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Most of us know how important it is to look after our teeth. We use them to eat by grinding our food into smaller and easier to digest pieces. A healthy smile can boost self-confidence and is one of the main features that can make us feel attractive. However, have you ever thought about your teeth and how important they are for creating a variety of sounds and pronouncing different words?

Teeth are vital for proper speech, and missing teeth can make it very difficult to speak correctly. In all human expression, teeth play an essential role in helping you to form appropriate sounds and pronounce words correctly. We make certain phonetic sounds using a combination of oral structures such as lips, teeth, tongue and of course vocal cords. When one of the elements of successful speech is not functioning correctly, you may develop delays or impediments.

Think about all of the words you have said today and imagine how missing or misaligned teeth might make speaking more challenging. There are certain sounds we rely entirely on the contact between the teeth and lips or the teeth and tongue to create. For instance, the sounds that would be most affected if teeth were misaligned or missing would be F, V, S, and T.

Don’t worry; the vowels are all easily said without the need of your teeth. However, here is a look at familiar sounds that teeth play an essential part in forming:

- To make the “TH” sound, your tongue must make contact with the upper row of your teeth. Words like ‘thank you’ or ‘breath’ rely on your teeth to form the full word.

- For you to make an “F” or a “V” sound, the upper teeth must make contact with the lower lips. For example, try saying the words four, flower, valid or victory slowly and focus on how your teeth are used in forming the sound

Teeth, including baby teeth in children, allow people to articulate language clearly and effectively by pronouncing more words and sounds. Human speech is integral to communication and keeping teeth clean and healthy not only promotes overall wellness, but also allows us to communicate efficiently with one another.

People who face issues such as misaligned teeth or missing teeth could benefit from visiting a dentist and orthodontist and in some cases working with a speech therapist. Dr. Margaret Szott, would love to talk to you about how proper dental health impacts all aspects of your life, including your speech. Contact us to schedule an appointment today and let us take care of your teeth so that you may feel more confident in your smile and the way you speak.

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3150 North Elm Street
Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408
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