Posted on Mar 29, 2018
Gapped teeth, also called diastema, is a distinct gap between the teeth. Diastema is a term most often used for describing the gap between the two front upper teeth, which is the most common gap. Around 50% of children under the age of 6 have this gap, and it usually closes on its own by the age of 8. If the gap has not closed after the adult canine and incisors have erupted, the gap may not close on its own.
Aside from natural development, there are a few other reasons why gapped teeth may develop. For example, a size mismatch between the jaw and the teeth. If you have a large jaw or small teeth, there may be extra space available in the mouth. This can cause the teeth to shift around in the mouth, creating gaps. Additionally, some habits can contribute to gapped teeth. These include thumb sucking or pushing the tongue against the front upper teeth.
Another cause of gapped teeth is due to frenum issues. The maxillary labial frenum is a strip of tissue that connects from the underside of the upper lip to the gum tissue between the two front teeth. If this piece of tissue is too large, it can cause the teeth to stay at a distance, creating a gap. Orthodontic braces can help correct this problem.
Dental gaps can be closed a number of ways. If the teeth aren’t brought together naturally or by the use of orthodontic braces, you can also undergo cosmetic dental procedures. For example, the gapped teeth can be made to look a little wider, which will cause the gap to close. This is done by applying composite material or dental veneers to the front surface of the gapped teeth. If a dental gap is caused by missing teeth, you can take advantage of a dental bridge, a dental implant, or partial dentures.
A gap in the teeth can cause speech problems and issues with self-esteem. Luckily, there are many ways to fix the problem and have the smile you’ve always wanted. If you have concerns about a gap in your smile, please make an appointment with your general dentist today.
Our endodontic dentists can always answer questions about general dentistry. For more specific questions and services about root canals, speak with one of our endodontics specialists today. We have three convenient locations in Colorado Springs North and Pueblo, Colorado.