They say a smile is the best accessory one can wear, but what if there’s a gap between your front teeth that’s stealing the show? While it may not impact your oral health or functionality as such, you might find it less pleasing aesthetically.
Whether you’ve embraced your unique dental feature or are eager to explore ways to close the gap for a more aligned smile, give our blog a read. We will cover everything you need to know about the gap between teeth, its common causes and popular treatment options to fix the gap. So let’s get started!
What are Gapped Teeth?
Gapped teeth, clinically referred to as diastema, are characterised by a noticeable space or gap between two or more teeth, most commonly observed between the upper front teeth. This condition can occur in both children and adults and may vary in size, from barely noticeable spaces to more prominent gaps that catch your attention.
Diastema can show up at any age, but it’s pretty common during childhood as baby teeth make way for permanent ones. Most of the time, these gaps close up on their own as the adult teeth settle in. But sometimes, the gap decides to stick around into adulthood and become a permanent feature of a person’s smile. While diastema is generally harmless and may not necessarily affect oral health or function, many individuals seek treatment options to address the aesthetic concerns associated with this dental feature.
What Causes Gap in Front Teeth?
The presence of a gap between front teeth can be caused by several factors, some of which may include:
Oversized Labial Frenulum
The labial frenulum, the tissue connecting the upper lip to the gum, can contribute to the formation of a gap between front teeth when it is larger or positioned lower than usual. In such cases, the frenulum can put excessive pressure on the upper front teeth, causing them to be pushed apart and creating a noticeable space.
Just like eye colour or hair texture, the alignment and spacing of your teeth can be inherited. If one or both of your parents have or had a diastema, there’s a higher chance you may develop one too.
Teeth Size and Jaw Misalignment
Sometimes, a gap can occur due to disproportionate tooth size or a misalignment of the jaw. If your teeth are smaller in size or if there’s a discrepancy in the size of your upper and lower jaw, it can result in spaces between the teeth.
External Physical Force
Certain external physical forces, such as trauma or injury to the mouth, can cause teeth to shift or move, leading to gaps between them.
Missing or Undeveloped Teeth
Gaps between teeth can occur when there are missing or undeveloped teeth in the dental arch. When a tooth is absent or fails to properly develop, the adjacent teeth may gradually shift or drift into the empty space, forming gaps between them.
Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can cause gum tissue to recede and result in gaps between teeth. This is due to the loss of supporting structures that hold the teeth in place.
Certain oral habits, such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or prolonged use of a pacifier, can exert pressure on the teeth and lead to gaps or misalignment.
How to Fix a Gap in Your Front Teeth
Whether it’s a natural feature of your smile or has occurred due to damage or wear to your teeth, modern dentistry offers a variety of solutions to address the gaps between your teeth.
- Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatments, including braces or clear aligners, are widely popular methods for closing gaps between teeth. Braces consist of brackets and wires that exert gentle pressure on the teeth, gradually moving them into the desired positions and closing the gap. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are custom-made trays that fit snugly over the teeth, exerting controlled pressure to shift them gradually. Your dentist will assess your specific needs, conduct a thorough examination, and design a personalised treatment plan to ensure optimal results
At Great Alpine Dental Advanced Aesthetics & Implants, we offer Invisalign and Spark aligners to help you close the gaps between your teeth. These innovative clear aligner systems provide a discreet and comfortable alternative to traditional braces for a beautifully aligned smile.
- Composite Bonding
Composite bonding involves applying a tooth-coloured resin material to the surfaces of the teeth to close the gap. The resin is carefully shaped and sculpted to match the natural tooth appearance, filling in the space for a fuller smile. This affordable and non-invasive procedure can provide instant results in a single dental visit.
- Porcelain Veneers
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted from high-quality porcelain and carefully bonded to the front surface of your teeth. They are an excellent option for masking gaps to create a well-balanced and harmonised smile. Porcelain veneers are durable, stain-resistant, and can provide a long-lasting solution for closing gaps and enhancing the overall appearance of your teeth.
- Dental Implants
In cases where a gap is due to a missing tooth, dental implants offer a permanent and natural-looking solution. An implant is a titanium post placed into the jawbone, acting as an artificial tooth root. Once the implant integrates with the bone, a dental crown is placed on top, filling in the gap and restoring both function and aesthetics.
- Crown & Bridges
A dental crown or bridge can be a viable solution for larger gaps or when multiple teeth are missing. A crown is a custom-made tooth-shaped cap that fits over a damaged or aesthetically compromised tooth, closing the gap and restoring its shape and function. A bridge consists of two crowns on either side of the gap, with artificial teeth filling in the space between.
Each of these treatment options has its own advantages and considerations. Consulting with your dentist will help determine the most suitable approach for your specific case, ensuring you achieve the smile you desire.
Why Do You Need to Fix Spacing in Teeth?
When it comes to the gaps between teeth, it’s important to understand that each situation is unique. In younger children, these gaps may naturally close as their teeth grow and develop. Some gaps may persist without causing any issues, while others may even increase in size due to the shifting of teeth. So, the question arises: should you consider filling in the gaps? Well, the decision ultimately depends on several factors, including your personal preferences and unique oral health considerations.
For some individuals, closing the gaps between teeth is simply a cosmetic choice. They may desire a more uniform and aligned smile. On the other hand, some people choose to embrace their gaps as a distinctive feature that adds character to their smile.
It’s important to note that small gaps are often considered a natural variation and may not necessarily indicate any underlying dental problems. If the gaps do not affect your ability to chew or speak and do not cause any significant aesthetic concerns, there may be no immediate need to fill them. As such, embracing your natural smile can be a valid choice.
However, it’s always advisable to consult your dentist for a comprehensive evaluation of your dental condition. They can assess the size of the gaps and monitor any potential changes over time. Your dentist will take into account various factors, such as your overall dental health, bite alignment and aesthetic preferences, to determine the best course of action for your specific case.
Remember, the decision to address the gaps between your teeth is a personal one. Your dentist can provide guidance and recommend suitable treatment options based on your unique needs and goals. Whether you choose to fill in the gaps or choose to keep them as part of your smile’s uniqueness, the most important thing is to feel comfortable with your dental appearance.
Bridge the Gap Today with Great Alpine Dental!
At Great Alpine Dental Advanced Esthetics & Implants, we take a comprehensive approach towards your oral health and smile aesthetics. If you desire a more aligned smile and want to bridge the gap between your teeth, we are here to help. From standalone aesthetic dental procedures to complete smile makeovers and full mouth reconstructions, our aim is to make gentle and quality dental care available locally. So if you live anywhere around Wangaratta, Beechworth, Myrtleford, Bright, Albury and Wodonga, book a consultation with us and take the first step towards a harmonious smile.