Wearing dentures for the first time can be exciting, and you may be relishing your brand new smile. However, there is a chance that you've already experienced the awkwardness of trying to speak with your new dental setup, whether your dentures are temporary or permanent, and it could be that, like many people, you've stopped talking as much, as you feel so self-conscious about the way you sound.
However, try not to fret; changes in speech are completely normal when you first have dentures put in. Luckily, there are things you can do to get your speech back to normal as quickly as possible; read on to find out exactly how to do this, and to discover why these changes happen in the first place.
Why do dentures change speech?
When you have dentures put in, the slight bulk causes a small change in the shape of your mouth, and, because of this, the way you normally form words using your lips, teeth, and gums will be affected slightly. It may feel like it takes slightly more effort to produce words than it did before your dentures, though this won't last. Your jaw muscles just need time to adjust to the extra weight of the dentures, but this should happen quickly in most cases. This is something that you will quickly get used to as your jaw muscles retrain themselves.
What can I do to help get my speech back to normal?
- If there are any words or sounds you find especially difficult, practice saying them again and again until you are happy that you are pronouncing them how you used to. And practice speaking more in general; while you may feel self-conscious doing so in public, you can always read a book out loud at night, or practice speaking among family and friends.
- Before you start to speak, bite down softly on your dentures and then swallow so you can be sure that your dentures are in the correct position.
- If you find that your dentures click when you talk, simply try to speak more slowly and the problem should go away.
- Sometimes, your dentures may slip when you cough, smile or laugh. You can reposition them easily by gently biting down and swallowing.
As long as your dentures are properly fitted, any changes in speech should be short-term, so be sure to speak to your dentist if you don't see your speech difficulties diminishing.