If you're unhappy with the appearance of gaps between your teeth, dental treatment may be right for you. Cosmetic dentistry treatments can improve the smile's appearance by addressing dental flaws and closing gaps between the teeth. Learn more about treatment for gapped teeth in this overview from Virginia, VA dentists Scott Parr and Tara Frey.
Treating gapped teeth begins with determining the cause. A gap between the teeth, also called a diastema, can form over time or be genetic.
Some people develop gaps between their teeth as a result of a discrepancy between the size of the teeth in relation to the size of the jawbone. Generally, this means the teeth are undersized and don't adequately fill the jawbone, leading to gaps between teeth.
A gap between the upper front teeth may be caused by an enlarged labial frenum. The labial frenum is the tissue that connects the lip to the gums. When this tissue is oversized, it may run down the gums and between the two upper front teeth, resulting in a large gap.
Some gaps develop over time as a result of problems with the swallowing reflex. Those who have the swallowing reflex disorder tongue thrust may notice gaps forming between their upper teeth. This is because tongue thrust pushes the tongue forward and into the teeth when swallowing instead of into the upper palate of the mouth. The regular pressure of the tongue on the upper teeth can gradually cause gaps to form.
Missing teeth can also cause gaps to develop over time. Of course, gaps will exist where any teeth are missing, but gaps may also form between the remaining teeth because tooth loss can lead to jawbone degeneration, causing the remaining teeth to shift.
Once the cause of gapped teeth is pinpointed, the appropriate treatment can be determined. Fortunately, there are many treatments available to correct the appearance of gapped teeth and improve the aesthetics of the smile. In some cases, treatments may be combined to correct the overall appearance of the smile. Some popular treatments for closing gaps between the teeth include:
To find out which treatment is right for you, or for more information about treatment for gapped teeth, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team at The Smile Center.