Can Dental Treatment Affect my Speech? (Plus: Tongue Twisters!)

Can dental treatment affect my speech?

Can dental procedures affect my speech?

It’s common to have pronunciation challenges right after having new crowns, bridges, veneers, dentures, or Invisalign trays fitted. The good news is, you can expect this to resolve quickly. Some dental patients complain of slight slurring, hissing, lisping, spitting and problems with the sounds “th” “f” and “s”. Usually, this is minor and slight and only audible to the person who has had the dental treatment, in severe cases, it can be audible to others too who are used to your normal way of speaking.

How long will this last?

The thicker the material, the longer it will take to adjust. Crowns and veneers are made of strong, thin porcelain in the shape of your natural teeth. This may take a few hours at most to get used to. Denture patients can expect it to be several weeks before the brain can rewire itself to the new way of speaking. One study of Invisalign patients found that in those cases where some type of speech impediment was noticed, the person typically adapted and their ability to talk returned to normal within a short period of time, usually no longer than a few days.

How can I speed up this process?

Practice makes perfect! We’ve provided a few helpful tongue twisters below, which you can read aloud alone or with a sympathetic friend:

  1. Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly sheep. The seven silly sheep Silly Sally shooed. Shilly-shallied south. These sheep shouldn’t sleep in a shack; Sheep should sleep in a shed.
  2. The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick. (According to the Guinness Book of World records this is the hardest tongue twister by far!
  3. Ingenious iguanas improvising an intricate impromptu on impossibly-impractical instruments.
  4. These thousand tricky tongue twisters trip thrillingly off the tongue.
  5. Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches.
  6. If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose.
  7. He threw three free throws.
  8. I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit.
  9. Nine nice night nurses nursing nicely.
  10. A proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot.
  11. Three thin thinkers thinking thick thoughtful thoughts.
  12. Four fine fresh fish for free.
  13. I like New York, unique New York, I like unique New York.

2 Responses to “Can Dental Treatment Affect my Speech? (Plus: Tongue Twisters!)”

  1. Linda Hoppe says:

    I am so glad to hear that dental work can cause slurring. I have a whole head of crowns and in July a bridge.
    My daughters have noticed a change in my speech..exactly as you have noted with certain words. It hasn’t gone away ..noticeable for a year. Can it last long for some? Some days better than others. I am healthy and active otherwise. Very annoying. I will practice your exercises. Main question is can it last much longer because I have had such change in practically every tooth? Thank you!

    • cpwestdentistry says:

      Linda, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with this for over a year! To be very honest, your best bet is probably to contact the provider who made the crowns/bridges for you to see if they have any thoughts or suggestions. It’s difficult for us to say online what might be going on clinically, but hopefully the other office will be able to help! You could also seek another opinion locally. We will be wishing you well!

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