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May is Speech and Hearing Month! How do teeth affect our speech?


 

Teeth have a greater role to play in our day-to-day lives than simply chewing and smiling. Teeth also play a critical role in speech production!

We often take our ability to speak for granted, not fully understanding just how complex the processes of speech production and comprehension truly are. The intricate neural connections and musculature required to accurately produce speech sounds develop through years of learning and practice. When just one of the key components of speech production malfunctions, or is no longer there, it can have severe negative ramifications on our ability to speak.

The main articulators for speech are the lips, tongue, jaw, vocal cords and TEETH! Teeth help us produce sounds such as /f/ (fan), /v/ (van), /ch/ (chain), /s/ (say), /z/ (zebra), /sh/ (shoe), /th/ (think, though), and the ‘g’ sound in ‘gym’.

If you have missing teeth, or ill-fitting dentures, your speech can be severely affected, which can further decrease your level of confidence and self-esteem.

If you believe that your speech and confident smile are being hindered by tooth loss or loose dentures, call our office and make a consultation today!

Picture Credit: Dan Reylonds
https://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/t/three_wise_monkeys.asp

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