A gap between your teeth may be something you consider a characteristic of your personality and something that you love about your smile. But if that little detail is something that bothers you, or makes you feel self conscious, a little cosmetic dentistry can go a long way to restore your confidence and your smile.
Is a gap between teeth damaging to oral health? It depends
When you have a gap between two teeth, it’s referred to as a diastema. While this trait appears most often between the two upper front teeth, a diastema can be between any two teeth, sometimes even many teeth at once.
What Causes Gap Teeth
Sometimes there is a discrepancy between the size of the teeth and the size of the jaw bone where the dental arches are located. If the teeth are genetically too small for the arches, this will cause spaces between the teeth. In trade, if the teeth are too big for the jaw, this is when teeth become crowded and overlap.
The piece of tissue that normally extends from the inside of your upper lip to the gum, just above your two front upper teeth. In some situations, the labial frenum continues to grow and passes between the two front teeth, blocking the natural closing of the space between the teeth.
Sucking your thumb, espeically as a child when teeth are coming in and constantly being moved around in the mouth, can easily cause a gap between teeth. Thumb sucking pushes the front teeth forward and causes other teeth to become misaligned.
Gaps can develop from an incorrect swallowing reflex which causes a tendency to thrust the tongue outward against the front teeth upon swallowing. Overtime, this habit creates sufficient pressure on teeth and creates a gap from pushing the teeth forward.
Gum disease results in the loss of the bone that supports the teeth. If someone has lost a lot of bone, the teeth can start to move and shift, and this movement can result in gaps between the front teeth.
Gaps In Baby Teeth
Don’t be alarmed if your child has gaps in their baby teeth – this is actually a good thing! As baby teeth fall out, most of these spaces close on their own and those gaps can help to leave a little extra room for a larger adult tooth to come in without crowding.
Treatment Options for Spaces Between Teeth
Dental Bonding – With bonding, you get the quickest possible cosmetic treatment. colored composite is shaped, applied, and hardened chairside, all within the same-day treatment. You don’t have to spend any time wearing temporaries or waiting for restorations to get back from the lab. Bonding can fill in gaps and resize or reshape teeth to improve the overall symmetry of your smile.
Porcelain Veneers – Veneers accomplish so many different changes, and lead to a smile that really looks like your own and enhances your natural features. The porcelain material blends incredibly well with enamel, so your veneers become a fully integrated part of your smile. If your front teeth are crooked, they can be repaired and then paired with veneers to appear straighter and more tailored to your mouth.
Six Month Smiles – We’ve been able to help our adult patients achieve straighter teeth without making serious time compromises with our six month smiles program. By focusing on the teeth visible in the smile, and prioritizing the movement of those teeth, six month smiles:
- Dramatically reduces treatment time
- Has a subtle appearance with clear brackets and tooth-colored wires
- Reduces appointment times with pre-attached wires and brackets
- Gives you stellar results
Consisting of clear plastic trays called aligners, Invisalign fits over the teeth and sits snugly in place, allowing your smile to show even during orthodontic treatment. By switching to new trays on a preset schedule, you receive new aligners that gradually shift the teeth. By the end of the treatment (which is an average of 12 months) you will be left with a straighter smile without compromises.
Choosing The Right Treatment
If you need help in determining which treatment option can help you in fixing your gap teeth, we’re here to help! Schedule a consultation with Barton Dentistry and become one step closer to your perfect smile!