common speech issues

Common Speech Issues Orthodontic Treatment Can Help

Common speech issues affect many patients. While most people think speech problems are developmental delays or just a part of learning, they may have a different cause. There are several common speech issues that orthodontic treatment may help. In fact, some common speech issues are actually just a problem with the layout of your jaw and teeth.

Common Speech Issues That Orthodontists See

For most people, speech is their primary form of communication. And when we communicate with others, one of the first thing people notice is how we talk. But, what many people don’t know is that the alignment of our teeth can cause many common speech issues. If you struggle with pronunciation, the fact is that your teeth may be to blame. Here are the top most common speech issues that can be treated through orthodontics.

1.          Lisps

Have you noticed people who speak with a lisp or tend to whistle when they pronounce certain words? The common speech issue known as a lisp is actually caused by the alignment of our jaw. When patients have what’s called an overbite in orthodontics, the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth more than normal. This is one of the most common causes of lisps or whistling.

Another common orthodontic issue that can cause whistling or lisps is when there are gaps in the teeth. Large gaps in our teeth lead to improper placement of the tongue in our mouth when we speak. This causes air to escape from our mouths while we pronounce certain words and leads to a whistling sound.

2.          Slurring

Another of the most common speech issues is word slurring. Our tongue has a lot to do with the way we pronounce words. And the alignment of our teeth can greatly affect our tongue’s ability to move freely around our mouth when we speak. In order to properly pronounce our words, our tongue needs the freedom to move around our mouth to project what we are trying to say.

If there are issues with the structure of your jaw, it may result in stuttering or slurred speech when you talk. Additionally, if your teeth are overcrowded, they may restrict the movement of your tongue and cause you to stutter or slur your words. Many common orthodontic treatments can properly treat these misalignments and open up room for your tongue to be able to pronounce your words the right way.

3.          Mispronunciation

Mispronunciation is another of the most common speech issues that can be treated with orthodontics. When we are young, certain sounds are difficult to pronounce. But, as we get older it gets easier to pronounce our words. For some patients, certain words still give them issues. This is a clear cut sign that there may be an orthodontic issue that needs to be addressed.

Fricative consonant sounds like “t” “s” or “ch” require us to touch our tongue to our teeth at some point. If our teeth are not properly aligned, it may lead to mispronunciation of these sounds.

Orthodontic Treatment Options

The good news is that orthodontic treatment can easily resolve these common issues. Of course, some issues go beyond orthodontic treatment. But, many speech therapists report that referring patients to an orthodontist first can help resolve the common speech issues listed above.

Braces and other orthodontic appliances can help correct issues like overbites that cause patients to suffer from a lisp. For patients who whistle when they talk, braces can also help close the gap in between their teeth to fix the problem. And, since word slurring and mispronunciation can also be due to alignment, braces can also help shift your teeth into a better position and resolve these issues.

Common speech issues can affect you throughout many areas of your life. They can limit your personal and professional relationships, lower your self-confidence, and keep you from being your best self. If you suffer from the common speech issues listed above, talk to your local orthodontist to see if the alignment of your teeth and jaw is the source of your problem.

At My Smile Orthodontics, we way to see you smile with confidence!