If you have a gap in your smile, you’re not alone. Diastema, or spacing between the teeth, is a relatively common dental concern that can occur in both children and adults. Most instances of Diastema occur between the two front teeth, leaving a gap between the left and right side of the upper arch of teeth. Still, gaps can occur anywhere in your smile and can be caused by a variety of factors.
There are many reasons why people might have extra space between their teeth—from age and genetics to facial trauma or dental procedures.
Here are some of the most common causes of gaps in teeth:
It is completely normal and quite common for kids to have gaps between multiple teeth. It is usually due to the small size of baby teeth in comparison to the jaw bone. If your child has not outgrown Diastema after they have received all of their adult molars, you may need to visit an orthodontist.
Just like kids may grow out of Diastema, older adults may grow into it. As we age, our teeth naturally shift, occasionally causing gaps or other cosmetic dental issues to occur.
Thumb Sucking, long-term use of bottles and pacifiers, improper chewing techniques, and even irregular swallowing and mouth breathing can put pressure on teeth and cause them to separate over time.
Each person has a strip of tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums. This tissue is called the maxillary labial frenum. Sometimes, the frenum can be too large and grow between the two front teeth, preventing them from closing and creating a gap. Surgery is usually needed before other treatments to remove the extra tissue.
When your teeth are too small to fill your jaw bone, it can create extra space and prevent your teeth from coming together.
If a tooth is knocked out or pulled, it opens space on the jaw bone. Eventually, surrounding teeth will move into the open space, creating gaps between teeth. To prevent your teeth from shifting and Diastema from occurring, you should always replace missing teeth (even back teeth) with a bridge or dental implant.
As gum disease progresses, the gums recede, and your jaw bone begins to lose density. Without a supportive base for your teeth to root into, they can be easily moved. If you have gum disease, something as simple as hitting the back of your teeth with your tongue can push teeth forward and create gaps and other deformities.
There are many ways orthodontists and dental surgeons are closing the gap for their patients. Finding the procedure that will work best for you depends on the cause of your Diastema, personal preferences, budget, health, and other factors.
Some common ways to treat Diastema, include:
Your treatment plan may include one or more of these. To determine your best option, schedule a free consultation with LI Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, and discuss your gap with an experienced and specialized cosmetic dentist.
Contact our South Huntington Office (631.423.6563) today.
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