Abstract Aerodynamic assessment of prosthetic obturation provides the clinician with important information on adequacy of the seal between the oral and nasal cavities. The technique is easy to apply and provides quantitative data on effectiveness of obturation. In addition, the pressure-flow technique provides important information on how individuals respond to changes in the integrity of oral and pharyngeal structures. This study demonstrates that individuals with large surgical defects increase respiratory effort during nonnasal consonant productions in order to maintain adequate intraoral speech pressures. Successful obturation of the defect maintains the speech pressures while dramatically reducing respiratory effort.