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FAQ:  Speech Articulation Problems

Speech Articulation Problems Ask The Dentist Ara Nazarian Question:
Can you free a 28 year old girl of her lisp? My girlfriend had a gap between her 2 front teeth filled 3 days ago.

She had the gap her whole life - it was about 2-3mm). Since then she has had a lisp and has been very distressed as she does a lot of communicating for work.

She's worried that it may be permanent. Will she adapt or will she need your help to learn how to enunciate her 'th' and 's'? ...Visitor from Australia

It is not uncommon to have some getting used to a new size or even shape of a tooth.

In this particulat case, having a space filled can cause these types of symptoms that usually resolve within a few weeks.

The question is, did they lengthen the teeth? When saying F's (fricatives) the incisal edge of the upper teeth touch the lower lip. If the teeth were lengthened without concerne to this, the patient will have problems with F words.

When saying S's, the tongue touches the back of the teeth. If the teeth are too thick, then the patient may slur their S's.

So, if all they did is fill the space without changing the length or thickness of the teeth, she should get used to them over time.

A Nazarian, DDS

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