A lot of people have gaps between their teeth when they are kids, but their adult teeth gradually grow in and move into place to create a full, gapless smile. But, for some people, these gaps don’t fully close without dental correction, with a gap between the two front teeth being the most common and the most noticeable.
What causes gaps between the teeth?
A gap between teeth is known as a diastema. A number of factors can cause this gap. It may be related to the size of a person’s mouth, jaw, and teeth. Someone with a large jawbone, for example, may end up with extra space in their mouth that their teeth can’t fill, resulting in gaps. This is usually simply down to genetics.
Certain conditions like gum disease and anything else that causes inflammation of the gums can also force a gap between the teeth. Or it may just be an overdevelopment of the gum tissue around the tooth line forcing a gap. Individual differences in the skin that connects the lips to the gums can also cause diastema.
Children are more likely to develop a gap between their front teeth if they frequently suck their thumb and if this continues on further into childhood. The force of thumb sucking can gradually push the front teeth forward, resulting in a gap that they may not grow out of.
Is it a problem?
A gap in your teeth is not usually a cause for concern. As already mentioned, it is often just the result of genetic differences or certain behaviors. If you suddenly develop a gap between your teeth in adulthood, then see your dentist to make sure it isn’t a sign of gum disease or other oral problems.
Diastema can sometimes cause problems such as a misaligned bite. It can also make things like cavities and tooth decay more likely because plaque can more easily build-up between your teeth, so make sure you properly look after your teeth and gums.
How to fix a gap between your teeth
If your child has a gap between their teeth, then it is likely that it will grow out, so there’s usually no need for treatment to correct it. For adults with a gap between their teeth, it still may not be necessary to correct this issue. However, some people with diastema may feel self-conscious about their appearance and choose to fix it for cosmetic reasons. But there are plenty of models and actresses who have proven that it doesn’t have to be an issue and can be a quirk that adds to your beauty.
If you do want to close the gap between your teeth, then braces or Invisalign are the most common solutions to move your teeth into a new position. You may also be able to have veneers to close the gap. Speak to your family dentist about your options.
If you need oral procedures or check-ups around Bermuda Run, NC, then contact Advance Family Dentists to book an appointment.