Speech problems…Did you know that the alignment of your teeth can affect your speech? One of the first things people notice about you is your smile and how you communicate when talking. If you have issues speaking clearly, orthodontics can help!
Lisping, whistling or slurring, and mispronunciation of words with “s” and “t” are the most common offenders. Proper diagnosis and correction during a patient’s developmental years, by an orthodontist, makes it much easier to correct the tooth and/or jaw problems associated with poor speech habits. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children be evaluated by age 7.
Common causes of many speech problems?
An overjet (buck teeth) or open bite, or crossbite are the most common causes of speech impediments. Teeth must come together properly to create an air-tight seal for the tongue to swallow properly in the roof of the mouth. If there is an opening which is often found in overjets, and open bites, the tongue creates the seal instead and results in a speech issue when communicating. If there is not enough room for the tongue which is often found with crossbites or underbites, speech is affected.
Why choose an orthodontist to correct speech disorders?
Orthodontics is the treatment of irregularities of the teeth and jaws by a trained dental specialist with 2-3 years of additional training after receiving their dental degree. General Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gum, nerves, and jaw, while orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting bites, occlusion, jaw development, and the straightness of teeth.
One important difference is that all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists. Understanding the complexities of proper tooth movement and jaw growth allows an orthodontist to drastically improve or eliminate speech problems in patients of all ages.
Children after the age of 10 are more significantly affected by language impairment resulting in low self-esteem and poor self-image than children with no speech impediments. If you or your child is suffering from a speech disorder, contact us today to schedule a complimentary evaluation. We will help you determine the cause of the speech problem and offer the best treatment options available to improve the problem at hand.