They say that a beautiful, wide smile is a sign of confidence. But what about when you feel self-conscious about your teeth? Healthy smiles come in all shapes and sizes, and so do our teeth. The way our teeth are formed can directly affect self-confidence. One of those factors is gapped teeth, which is also called diastema.
Read on to discover what you should know about gapped teeth, and how you can treat them to feel more confident about your smile!
Causes of Gapped Teeth
Diastema is a term often used for describing the gap between the two front upper teeth, the most common type of 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, including 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.
Treatment for Diastema
Dental gaps can be closed a number of ways, some of which are non-invasive and fairly straight forward. Dental bonding is one of the most successful and easiest ways to correct a tooth gap. A dentist will apply a tooth-colored resin to the tooth to fill in the gap.
Though it may take more time than other treatments, orthodontic treatment is an excellent option to precisely straighten your teeth. Metal orthodontic braces or the newer Invisalign braces can be used to straighten teeth and close gaps.
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 your tooth gap is caused by missing teeth, your general dentist may suggest using dental implants to correct the issue.
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 your teeth can cause speech problems and issues with self-esteem. But it doesn’t have to keep you from having a healthy smile. 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 to discuss the best treatment option for you.
Have other questions about your teeth or dental health? Our team of endodontists is here to help. We specialize in root canal treatments to relieve our patients’ pain and restore their smiles for years to come. With care conveniently located in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, our team is ready to help give you the beautiful, pain-free smile you deserve. Contact our office to schedule an evaluation today!