by Emily Taylor
Gapped Teeth Ruining Your Smile? Here’s How to Fix Them:
Space or a gap between teeth, also known as diastema is a commonly occurring condition among children as well as adults. The most obvious cases are the ones with teeth gaps in between the front teeth. Such gapped teeth do far more damage than just ruin your appearance. They affect your oral health and if neglected for long, they may result in serious oral health issues.
Fortunately, there are some simple and effective orthodontic treatments for gapped teeth which can help rectify the problem, so that your teeth are realigned in their correct position. But first, let’s take a look at the types of causes and then some commonly prescribed orthodontic treatment for gapped teeth.
- Missing Teeth – In some children, the permanent tooth never actually forms to replace the baby tooth. The missing teeth may or may not be replaced with a dental device. This may leave a larger gap in between the teeth. Besides this gap, the remaining teeth may also slowly spread out creating smaller gaps.
- Tooth Size – Sometimes, adult or permanent teeth do not fully form before growing in. This can cause gaps not only around the underdeveloped tooth but also nearby teeth if they spread out in response to the open space.
- Jaw Size – Gaps in teeth also occur if the jaw is larger in size than required as per the size of the teeth. Children often develop gaps between their teeth before they start losing teeth and gain permanent ones due to this reason. Since their baby teeth remain of the same size while their jaw grows, gaps develop. If the jaw grows quicker than the permanent teeth can accommodate, gaps may occur.
- Labial Frenum Overgrowth – The small connective tendon which runs from the lip to the jaw, both on the top and the bottom side in the very center of the mouth is known as the labial frenum. The overgrowth of this tendon i.e., if it grows either too far up or too far down the front of the jaw, it can force a gap between the two upper or middle lower teeth.
Apart from these common natural causes, there are many other causes which lead to gapped teeth such as overbite, periodontal disease or tumors.
- Tongue Thrusting – Many adults and children have the habit of consistently pushing their tongue against their front teeth when they swallow. In short-term, this has little to no negative effect. However, over years, this constant pressure can lead to gaps in between the teeth.
- Thumb or Pacifier Sucking – If the baby has started losing the front baby teeth and is still sucking on a pacifier or the thumb, it may create gaps in between the teeth. Continuous sucking action can cause the teeth to flare out and result in gaps.
- Mouth Jewelry – Certain oral piercings such as a tongue barbell continually push the teeth from behind. This constant pressure over a few years may lead to gapped teeth.
Orthodontic Treatment Options for Gapped Teeth
There are various solutions available to rectify gaps in between the teeth. Some of these are described below:
- Frenectomy – If the overgrown frenum is responsible for causing gaps in between the teeth, this oral surgery is prescribed and is followed by an orthodontic treatment to correct the gap.
- Veneers – These are tooth coverings which are permanently attached to the surface of teeth and can be used to cover a gap if they are a bit wider as compared to the natural teeth.
- Braces – These dental appliances which apply constant pressure to move teeth into their correct position. They not only fix gaps in between teeth but also address other alignment issues.
- Removable Dental Appliances – These include aligners and orthodontic plates and can help teeth shift closer together, rectifying minor gaps over time.
If you too have noticed gaps in between your or your child’s teeth, visit an orthodontist at the earliest. Early treatment and prevention will not only rectify the smile but also reduce the risk of any related oral health issues.
Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!