May 25, 2023
Is that gap between your teeth making you hide your grin? You are not alone! Approximately 25% of adults in the USA have similar gaps.
Gap Between Your Teeth and How to Close it
Is that gap between your teeth making you hide your grin? You are not alone! Approximately 25% of adults in the USA have similar gaps. A gap or space between two teeth is called diastema. It could occur between two teeth but is most noticeable between the upper front teeth. It is found in 90% of children and doesn’t need medical attention since permanent teeth eventually make up for the gap. Even for adults, in most cases, a diastema is not medically worrisome. But if the gap makes you self-conscious or affects your self-esteem, there are ways to treat it. But first, here’s what causes it (other than genetics).
Causes of Diastema
- Normal Growth
In babies, it is normal for teeth to grow with spaces between them. They come out naturally or because of habits like excessive thumb-sucking, pacifiers, and bottle feeding.
- Size of the Teeth and Jaw
If the size of your teeth is too small for your jaw, then your teeth will space out to cover the area causing gaps between your teeth.
- Overgrowth of Labial Frenum
Labial Frenum is the tissue between your upper front teeth and gums. If this tissue is oversized, it can push the teeth apart, causing space between them.
- Tongue Thrust
Touching your tongue with your upper teeth instead of the roof of your mouth while swallowing can put some pressure on your teeth. Too much of it can cause them to separate.
- Gum Disease
Gum infection can affect the tissue supporting your teeth, thus loosening the teeth and causing gaps.
Treatment of Diastema
Diastema caused by gum disease needs medical attention since the gum infection can harm your oral and overall health. But other than that, it is a cosmetic issue and can be left as is. However, if you want to close the gap or reduce its size, there are several ways to do it.
This is a standard treatment for diastema. Metal or ceramic braces made of wires and brackets are fit around the teeth to apply pressure and cause the teeth to shift slowly towards each other over some time.
A dentist can perform dental bonding or fit veneers as an alternative to braces. These are tooth-colored coverings that fill the gap or are applied over the teeth to make them look aligned.
- Dental bridges or implants
Prostheses like these are opted for in case of a missing tooth. Implants refer to a replacement tooth screwed into the gap. A dental bridge is a fake tooth fixed by attaching it from either side of the gap. This will likely be done after orthodontic treatment.
A frenectomy is done to remove the excess labial frenum that is pushing the teeth apart.
Diastema is a dental condition that is not serious and can be managed by practicing good oral hygiene. Make sure you brush and floss regularly, and see a dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and dental examinations. It is completely alright if you are happy with your gap and not looking for procedures to close it.