Restorative Dentistry for Clearer Speech

Your teeth are responsible for chewing food and providing structure to your face. But did you ever think about how your teeth help form words? Subtle positioning differences with your tongue and teeth create dozens of sounds, but what happens when you have missing teeth?

Accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Roberto Palmieri understands that clear speech is important for self-esteem but also for general communication purposes. Thankfully, restorative dentistry can improve your speech. Keep reading to learn more. 

How do your teeth affect speech?

You might not associate your teeth with clear speech, but the reality is your teeth play a role in how you speak. Speaking requires you to coordinate your facial muscles, lips, tongue, and cheeks. When any one of these oral structures isn’t working, your speech may be impacted. 

Missing teeth compromise clear speech

Certain sounds are made when your tongue touches your teeth. From a linguistics point of view, here are several sounds that require your teeth: 

Dental sounds

Dental sounds are formed by the tip of your tongue touching your upper teeth, creating the /θ/ sound as in “thing.”

Interdental sounds

Interdental sounds are formed when your tongue is between your upper and lower teeth, creating the /ð/ sound as in “they.”

Labiodental sounds

Labiodental sounds are formed when your lower lip and upper teeth come into contact, creating /f/ and /v/ sounds as in “fox” or “vine.”

You can imagine how difficult it would be to say some of these words clearly with missing teeth. Missing your front teeth, especially, can impact your ability to create dental, interdental, and labiodental sounds. 

Improving speech clarity through restorative dentistry 

Restorative dentistry is designed to fix dental problems, like cavities, infections, and missing teeth, to improve the health and function of your mouth. 

With restorative dentistry, you can eliminate pain, improve the appearance of your smile, and enjoy several other benefits, including an easier time chewing and clearer speech.

When your teeth, especially your front teeth, are functional, your tongue is able to coordinate properly with your teeth to form those sounds. Depending on what’s impacting your speech, there are several types of restorative treatments to help you communicate more clearly.

Dental implants

If you’re missing a tooth, a dental implant can replace that tooth, whether it’s a molar or one of your front teeth. Implants are strong, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. 


If you want to avoid implant surgery, you’re not out of options. A bridge can also replace a missing tooth. Bridges literally bridge the gap with a pontic (the prosthetic tooth) anchored to neighboring teeth.


Dentures are prosthetic, removable teeth that can replace full arches of missing teeth. Dentures may be ideal if you can’t have (or don’t want) dental implant surgery.

Fillings and root canals

Sometimes your speech is compromised for another reason: difficulty moving your jaw. If you have a cavity or perhaps swelling from a tooth abscess, you can’t move your jaw easily, which can also impact your speech. Fillings and root canals can address these issues. 

Once your missing teeth are replaced or the cause of your discomfort is treated, you should find that your ability to form words clearly returns.

If you’re concerned about missing teeth or other dental issues affecting your speech, call our Mooresville, North Carolina, office to learn more about our restorative dentistry options. You can also book your appointment online.

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