Enamel Erosion Is Altering My Speech And Driving Me Crazy - Please Help

Jun 9, 2021
Hi everyone,

This is a very long post so thank you for your time in advance. I genuinely appreciate any help whatsoever.

My problem:

Enamel erosion on on the back of my front teeth has resulted in problems with my speech. I do not use tobacco at all and never have.

Quick synopsis:

I drank a minimum of two Mountain Dew Kickstarts every day and failed to consistently brush my teeth for approximately four years and it led to widespread enamel erosion. The kicker is that my lower right central incisor naturally protrudes and makes direct contact with the back of my upper right incisor when I attempt to close my mouth. Essentially, my dysfunctional tooth structure created an abrasion that coupled with my poor hygiene and diet to compound the erosion within that specific part of my mouth - I.E. the top right incisor.

Consequently, my upper right incisor is significantly more concaved than the rest of my teeth and has yielded somewhat of a - I almost don't know how to phrase this - pseudo gap in my mouth when I attempt to speak. It feels like my two front teeth are staggered and my tongue fails to make clean contact when pronouncing 't' and 'l' sounds. Additionally, the increased depth has created a growing hole between where my front teeth meet my gums at the roof of my mouth - directly below my frenulum - and now my 's' and 'sh' sounds are dragging and losing their sharpness. It's infuriating.

In summary: my tongue is being forced to strain itself to reach further when attempting to pronounce words or phrases and occasionally comes up with nothing, but air. I'm not dumb - I'm struggling immensely to speak with the efficiency, speed, and precision that I've grown accustomed to over thirty years.


"Fortunate enough" now comes out like "Fortun-eh enough"

"Didn't" often comes out like "diiin't"

"Hundred" = "Hundreh"

"Transcripts" = "Transcrips"

"Just" = "Juss"

Ultimately, I'm struggling to make swift and precise contact with repetitive "hard" syllables because half of the point of contact that my tongue was using feels like it's missing.

My experiences with the dentist:

My family dentist dismissed my problem for almost a year, eventually decided to saw down my protruding incisor to remove the friction, and then later told me to get braces. This doesn't make any sense to me, though. To be clear, my bottom teeth no longer touch my top teeth AT ALL when I close my mouth. I understand that my bottom teeth require braces, but upper teeth are almost perfectly straight and braces seemingly can't re-create the volume that I've lost on my right incisor, no? I explicitly asked this question to my dentist and he told me to ask the orthodontist instead. When I asked the orthodontist the same question, he sort of evaded a direct answer by telling me that I could possibly require more procedures following the braces and wouldn't elaborate further. It feels like I'm stuck in an endless loop of both professionals referring me to the other for answers.

If logic seems to disagree with the use of braces and there is no discernible game plan then I don't think that spending $5,500 on Invisalign is an intelligent idea. I can't afford - financially or mentally - to endure another year of this. In the beginning, I assumed that adding a layer of resin onto the back of my tooth would correct the problem by replacing any lost volume, but my family dentist is inexplicably opposed to doing that. He simply shuts me down and refers me to the orthodontist every time that I bring it up.

I visited a second dentist who acknowledged the issue and immediately agreed that utilizing resin was the way to go, but then kind of botched the execution. When I arrived for the procedure, she numbed my mouth, left the room, and allowed her assistant - apprentice? - to perform the task. Unfortunately, this person - who I had never met or spoken to at any time prior to this moment - cemented a glob of resin onto the bottom portion of my right incisor, but left the upper half of the tooth untouched - effectively creating a weird and bumpy tooth while failing to address the particularly problematic area near the frenulum. I can return to this dentist, but I'm a little sketched out by how nonchalantly they passed me off to a person whom I had never even met.

At the end of the day, I will be happy with any solution that fixes my issue - braces, resin, or otherwise - as long as there is a guaranteed plan of action and a detailed explanation of how it will fix my problem. I'm not taking a $5,500, 18-month-long leap of faith, though.

My questions:

Are braces truly the answer here?

If so, how will they compensate for the lost volume that created my problem in the first place?

If not, why does my dentist seem to fear utilizing resin?


Photo 1: A zoomed out view of everything. I apologize for the blur.

Photo 2: The line demonstrates the "gap" that I am talking about. When I speak, the left side of my tongue hits the left tooth and the right side falls into the highlighted area - often coming back with nothing, but air or a distorted version of the sound that is normally produced.

Photo 3: The left arrow points to the base of the glob of resin that was added to my tooth. The right arrow points to the growing gap below the frenulum. Two years ago, this area was a flat, airtight wall.

Photo 4/5: Unedited versions of photos two and three.


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