A Closer Look At Teeth Gaps

Posted by Bencaz Family Dentistry Aug 14, 2017

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Do you have a gapped smile? While a gap or large space can develop between any two teeth, it is most common in the upper front teeth. That unsightly gap is medically referred to as diastema. Fortunately, there are ways to correct teeth gaps, but it is helpful to understand why it develops in the first place.

Some patients have had a space between their two front teeth since they were kids, while others have had the gap gradually form as they’ve gotten older. There are multiple reasons why gaps form between teeth, including the following:

  • Size of Your Jawbone and Teeth:  If your teeth are simply too small in relation to the size of your jawbone, there is a likelihood of diastema or spacing to occur.
  • Missing Teeth: If you have one or more missing teeth, your teeth will migrate or shift over time. This can also cause unsightly gapping.
  • Oversized Labial Frenum: This is the tissue that attaches the inside of the upper lip to the gums at the top of the two upper teeth. If the labial frenum is especially large, it can prevent the top front teeth from closing in together.
  • Thumb Sucking: When a child sucks his or her thumb, the front teeth tend to get pushed forward, which naturally creates extra spacing.
  • Tongue Thrust Swallowing: Some people swallow using a “tongue thrust” motion. This means that the tongue presses firmly against the front teeth instead of the roof of the mouth during a swallow. The result can be the same as thumb sucking -  overbites and upper teeth gaps.

As you can see, teeth gaps are not always preventable. However, if you do have diastema caused by a specific habit or structural issue, it is important to address the root cause before seeking a treatment to close the gap. At Bencaz Family Dentistry, we are well qualified to diagnose the reason for your diastema as well as recommend a permanent solution. Dental bonding, veneers or orthodontics can be used to fix teeth gaps.

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