As we get older suddenly we realised many things we didn't appreciate about being young - being fit, having smooth skin and having all your own teeth. As our loose teeth (and bridges) struggle to deal with chewier food we start eating bland mush and, there is no easy way to say this, OLD PEOPLE FOOD. I'm determined not to let that happen to me and I'm doing everything I can to keep my own teeth as long as possible, and when that's not possible to get the best possible teeth replacement. If you are like me and want to keep on eating whatever you want, I think you'll like my site. It's all about dental health and teeth replacement & maintenance.
Having a new set of dentures fitted to replace missing teeth can be initially uncomfortable, and you may encounter problems with various activities that were previously routine, such as eating and brushing your teeth. Many wearers of new dentures may also encounter problems with their speech - the shape and contours of the mouth are necessarily modified by the insertion of a denture, and the natural movements of the teeth and tongue to enunciate words can be restricted.
Have no fear, as these problems are not permanent - provided that your dentures are fitted well and properly adhered to the gums, you will become accustomed to wearing them quite quickly. However, speech problems can be embarrassing, particularly if your job or hobbies involve a lot of public speaking. Here are a few of the most common speech problems associated with denture use, and how you can speed up the process of eliminating them:
Many hard consonant sounds, such as '"t" and "d", require the speaker to press the tongue against the roof of the mouth momentarily to enunciate them properly. However, dentures fitted in the place of top teeth generally intrude into the roof of the mouth to provide support. This effectively changes the shape of the roof of your mouth, making enunciation of these consonants feel unnatural or awkward. This is exacerbated by a lack of tactile feedback - since you are used to feeling your tongue press on the roof of your mouth while speaking, losing this sensation can be very disconcerting, and leave you unsure of where to place your tongue.
Practice is the best way to overcome this problem, as you will essentially have to 'train' your tongue to find the right place in the mouth to press against. Reciting tongue twisters is an excellent way to practice, as is singing. Speech therapy can also help, but if you are still not progressing after several months, you should visit a denture clinic, as your dentures may be improperly fitted or shaped.
Slurring of speech
If you feel your speech is becoming slurred, especially during long conversations, this is probably caused by a loss of strength in the muscles of the mouth. Because dentures alter the contours of the mouth, as well as placing increased pressure on the cheek muscles and the gums, your mouth muscles may be forced to work in ways they are unaccustomed to in order to continue speaking.
Fortunately, the mouth muscles can be trained to increase their strength like the other muscles of the body. Your dentist will probably recommend a series of mouth exercises upon having your dentures fitted, to help you retain muscle strength. You should also consider stretching your cheek and tongue muscles frequently. If the increased strain of speaking with dentures is causing you muscle pain, simple, circular massaging of the cheeks can provide relief.
Lisping and whistling
Involuntary whistling and lisping while speaking can be embarrassing, but many people assume that they are a natural disadvantage of denture use, and do not seek aid to correct them. Some involuntary whistling, lisping or spitting while speaking is very common in people who are unaccustomed to new dentures - however, if problems persist for longer than a few months, you should visit a denture clinic. Long-term lisping or whistling generally means that your dentures are improperly adjusted or fitted, and your dentures will need to be professionally reconfigured to alleviate the problem. If you have worn dentures for a long time and have noticed you are lisping or whistling more, you should also visit a clinic, as this may mean that your dentures are wearing out, or you are suffering from gum recession.