Whether you’re struggling with the appearance of a gap between your two front teeth or you’re worried about the cause of gaps forming throughout your mouth, having a gap between teeth is a common condition, and completely treatable.
Though many more serious conditions cause gaps between teeth, for the most part, they are nothing more than a cosmetic concern. However, if the gaps between your teeth cause self consciousness, are widening or you’re concerned they’re the symptoms of a worsening condition, ignoring them is no longer an option. It’s time to visit your dentist.
Conditions That Cause Gapped Teeth
In most cases, gapped teeth, or diastemata, are simply genetic. But if your diastema accompanies other symptoms, it’s worth getting checked out by a cosmetic dentist. Even if you know your gap is caused by genetics and isn’t cause for concern, give us a call. Our expert dentists at Denali Dental Care can help you protect the gap between your teeth, ensure you’re cleaning your teeth properly at home and monitor any changes.
For many of us, diastemata happen when your jaw is too large for your teeth. Your teeth aren’t able to fill out the space, and gaps form.
Gum overgrowth, or gingival hyperplasia, is a condition that results from poor oral health. If you don’t practice good home oral health care by brushing twice daily and flossing every day, plaque from food and bacteria can build up and cause gum inflammation. Then, as your gums grow over the teeth and enlarge, they push the teeth away from one another, causing gaps.
Bad Habits Like Tongue Thrust
Anyone who sucked their thumb as a child and needed braces knows well: you may have excellent oral health, but if you constantly apply pressure to the teeth, they will slowly shift. Tongue thrust, caused by bad swallowing technique, and thumb sucking can create gaps between teeth.
If left untreated, gum disease can wear away at the gums and teeth rapidly. In its extremes, gum disease causes gums to recede from teeth, and patients with untreated gum disease are at risk of losing teeth. Diastema worsens with gum recession.
How to Treat Diastema
Of course, diastema treatment varies greatly depending on what’s causing it. Here are just a few ways we treat diastema:
- Veneers or crowns. If your diastema is simply cosmetic, we can close gaps using cosmetic options like veneers and crowns.
- Laser treatment. Laser treatment can treat serious cases of gum disease. However, if we catch it in its early stages, you can reverse symptoms of gum disease by improving your home oral care alone.
- Orthodontics. Orthodontic treatments like Invisalign can reposition your teeth to reduce or close the gaps.
- Myofunctional therapy. Myofunctional therapy teaches you exercises that correct tongue position and swallowing technique, though, without cosmetic intervention, your teeth won’t go back to their pre-diastema position.
Bridging the Gap
There are plenty of conditions – both serious and harmless – that can cause diastema. If you believe the gaps between your teeth are widening, the gaps between your teeth are impacting your mental health or you’re concerned your diastema may be the result of some condition, we can help treat the condition and close the gaps between your teeth.