A gap between teeth is a place in your tooth where gum tissue meets another tooth or a place where a tooth emerges from underneath the gum line. People with teeth gaps often have different sizes and shapes between their permanent teeth or even among baby teeth.
This problem can also cause teeth to rotate or lean into the space, resulting in bite problems. A dentist needs to plan the treatment designed to correct the problem in these cases.
Signs of Gapped Teeth
Several signs indicate this dental problem. A teeth gap appears as a small area without any tooth and gum tissue on the roof of your mouth or the inner sides of your teeth. Common signs of teeth gaps are:
- Teeth crowding
- The presence of teeth gaps can cause crowded or crooked teeth.
- Rotting, broken, or chipped teeth
- Gum disease
- since gaps between teeth can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities.
- Tongue thrusting
- this usually happens when you sleep with your mouth open by resting your tongue on one of your teeth gaps. As a result, the gap pushes the tongue forward during sleep which is very uncomfortable and obstructive to achieving restful sleep.
- Unpleasant odor coming from your mouth
- Bad breath is also a sign of this problem, as the teeth gap provides an ideal place for food particles to stick.
Causes of Gapped Teeth
Teeth gaps are caused by various reasons, either related to your genetics or due to other underlying health conditions. Some of the common causes are :
This is one of the most common reasons for the teeth gap. They are also known as diastema. If other family members have teeth gaps, you can also develop this condition.
Gum disease is another major cause of teeth gaps. A dentist can detect this in an early stage by checking the health of your gums. If you have gum disease, the teeth gaps will be enlarged when your gums are healthy, so it is also advisable to get treatment for chronic dental infections at the early stages.
Underlying health conditions
Hormonal changes, illnesses, or medications(such as chemotherapy) can cause teeth gaps. Some chronic diseases like diabetes, respiratory disease, and intestinal disorders may also result in this dental problem.
Treatments for Gapped Teeth
Teeth gaps are a prevalent dental problem and can be treated by various methods, as explained below.
One of the effective treatment plans is using space maintainers. Space maintainers are devices that fill in the teeth gaps to prevent further shifting of teeth into that area or to prevent jaw problems in the future. They are removable devices that are easy to use and very comfortable.
Gum lift surgery
In some cases, a gum lift surgery is required for overly pronounced space between teeth. This surgery is done by making an incision at the top of the gums right above the dental tooth that affects it, then removing a strip of tissue on the top of your gums. This will create a visible appearance of teeth that look closer together. Surgery is followed by painful swelling of gums and tissues around the teeth for a few days.
This is a simple and less invasive treatment alternative for spaces between teeth. A dentist uses a particular type of dental cement called bonding material to close gaps. The only downside of this method is that it creates temporary results and may require more than one session, depending on the size of gaps.
Teeth Correction appliances
Your dentist may also use other appliances such as braces to close significant teeth gaps or align crooked teeth. In some cases, cosmetic bonding can hide the gap if it is small and not noticeable from a distance. They are quick and easy to use; however, they are also temporary solutions. During your regular dental check-ups, a dentist will assess the condition of your teeth and determine what the best possible solution is for you.
Prevention of Gapped Teeth
You should also include some preventive practices to prevent teeth gaps. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day. Brushing is essential to prevent plaque buildup, which can cause gum disease and other dental problems. At the same time, flossing is also necessary for maintaining healthy gums because it removes food particles from your teeth gaps between them.
Also, try to avoid sticky or chewy foods as much as you can because they tend to get caught in between your teeth gaps during chewing. Opt for foods like apples or carrots cut into small pieces and can be devoured.
It would be best to give up smoking because it is awful for overall oral health. Other habits you should avoid are drinking many carbonated drinks and caffeine.
Teeth gaps are a common dental problem and should be kept in mind while maintaining your oral hygiene. Make sure you take regular care of your teeth to prevent this condition from worsening or something even more severe being caused due to the delay in treatment. If you have any concerns, then consult any dentist near you.