It’s not uncommon for kids and adults to have gaps in their teeth. This condition, called diastema, isn’t harmful but concerns many because of aesthetic reasons. When the gap is between the front teeth, it becomes quite apparent when one smiles. This is why people get treatments to fix gaps in teeth.
Before you book an appointment with an experienced dentist in Yakima for closing gaps in front teeth, you must know what causes teeth gaps. Let’s take a look at the reasons:
Gaps between teeth can form if a person’s teeth are smaller in comparison to their jawbone. This condition often runs in families since jawbone and tooth sizes are genetically determined.
Tongue Pressure on Front Teeth Due to Incorrect Swallowing Reflex
Our tongue presses against the mouth’s roof when the swallowing reflex is activated properly. However, some people push it against their front teeth instead of the roof. This constant pressure on the front teeth pulls them forward over time, resulting in a gap.
A diastema can form when some teeth are absent or are smaller than others. This is most common with the upper lateral incisors. These are the teeth that are on both sides of the upper front teeth.
Oversized Labial Frenum
The labial frenum is a piece of tissue that runs from the inside of the top lip to the gum line above the front teeth on the upper side. This tissue can produce a gap between these teeth if it is particularly big.
The migration of teeth is a common symptom of severe gum disease.
Those who suffer from gum disease have inflamed gums. This inflammation causes damage to the bone, which is responsible for supporting the teeth in persons with gum disease. This makes the tooth become loose with time. And the results are prominent gaps.
Loss of Primary Teeth
When a child’s primary teeth fall out, they may have temporary diastemas. These gaps usually close as their permanent teeth come in.
This sort of gap is prevalent enough among youngsters. Normally, it is considered a typical developmental event. In most cases, no dental procedure to fill gaps in teeth is required.
Certain habits such as tongue thrusting, lip sucking, and thumb sucking may result in visible gaps as these activities exert extra pressure on the tooth. This makes them move forward, and the outcome is in the form of gaps.
How to Close Teeth Gaps?
As stated earlier, tooth gaps are not harmful. Therefore, in most cases, dental treatment for teeth gap is not required. However, if you wish to flaunt a beautiful smile without any visible gaps, you can opt for one of these treatments after consulting your dentist:
- Braces: Normally, dentists recommend braces to fix teeth gaps. The braces apply pressure on the teeth, gradually narrowing the gap. The patient is required to wear the entire set of braces even if there’s only one gap.
- Dental Bonding or Veneer: Veneer or teeth bonding for gaps is another popular treatment. The former are custom-made pieces of porcelain that are affixed to the surface of the tooth, while the latter includes putting resin on the tooth’s surface and hardening it with a light source. These procedures may be beneficial if the diastema is caused by the presence of smaller teeth.
- Gum Disease: If the gap is caused by gum disease, its treatment becomes inevitable not only to treat diastema but to improve the overall oral health.
- Dental Implants: If a diastema exists due to lost teeth, more substantial dental procedures, such as implants, may be required. The procedure to place implants includes inserting metal screws within the jawbone and affixing the replacement tooth.
- Surgery: In some cases, when a diastema is caused by an enormous labial frenum, surgery may be recommended. It includes removing the extra issue.
The dentist will recommend the appropriate treatment depending on the cause of gaps and other factors.