Worried About Your Child’s Speech?
Did you know that the tongue and teeth play a critical role in helping you form proper speech and pronunciation? If you’ve noticed your child having difficulty with speech, their teeth might be the culprit. Read more to find out how you can help your child.
Human speech is made up of a combination of our vocal cords, lips, teeth, and tongue. Certain sounds rely entirely on the contact between the teeth and lips or the teeth and tongue. When teeth are missing, sounds that use F, V, S, and T are most affected. Even the length of our tongues can determine the phonetic sounds we make.
How Our Teeth Affect Certain Sounds
Here are some examples of how teeth play an important role in the formation of speech:
- “TH” words like “think,” “thank,” or “this” rely on your tongue making contact with the upper row of teeth.
- “F” or “V” sounds are made when your upper teeth make contact with the lower lips.
Issues with teeth such as missing teeth or misalignments can cause speech impediments like slurring of speech or a lisp
Self-Conscious Induced Speech Problems
Speech problems can be related to issues with teeth because the speech organs such as the tongue, teeth, and lips are unable to produce the sound. They can also be associated with people who are trying to cover up their dental flaws, as well. People who are self-conscious of their teeth may try to cover their mouth when they speak, which can affect speech articulation.
For example, mumbling can be caused when a person keeps their lips partially covered as they speak so as to not show their teeth. Speech pattern, tone, and volume can also be affected by purposely hiding teeth during speech.
In turn, keeping your mouth unnaturally closed while you speak will affect your facial muscles. Over time, they will become rigid and inflexible as they readjust to the changed speaking patterns. Unfortunately, if left untreated, the speech pattern will be permanent even if the dental flaws that caused them in the first place are fixed.
It’s important to address teeth issues that can cause your child to be self-conscious and hide their teeth. Not only does it affect their self-confidence, it can also have long-term consequences to their speech and facial muscles. Please contact our office to address concerns you may have.
Dr. Fara Afshar