Front Teeth Gap – Causes, Treatment and Prevention
Having a gap between the front teeth might make you feel less attractive or even make you smile less. If this is bothering you, don’t despair, a front teeth gap can be fixed.
First the facts, there is usually nothing (medically) wrong with having a front teeth gap. Sure, you may think that it doesn’t look that great, but, chances are, that you aren’t in any real danger.
A gap between front teeth is pretty common among young children and will usually sort itself out, however, should you have any concerns about your child’s teeth, it’s never a bad idea to visit your local pediatric dentist.
With that said, things like genetics, bad hygiene, and various gum diseases might also leave a front teeth gap in our adult teeth too, which is known as diastema.
Diastema is a dental condition where a person has a visible (at least 0.5 millimeters wide) gap between the front teeth. It can also appear between any other two teeth, however, unless the condition is severe, these don’t really require treatment or correction.
What Causes Diastema?
Probably the most common of all causes of diastema. Unfortunately, if your parents (or grandparents) had a gap between front teeth, there is a good chance that you might have it too. Fortunately, this also means that your Diastema wasn’t caused by some other unconventional causes.
Gum diseases usually cause pain, swollen gums or bleeding gums while we brush our teeth. If left untreated gum diseases can also cause severe cases, such as gum enlargement, which can lead to a front teeth gap.
Oversized or Undersized Tooth (teeth)
The frenum (frenulum) is a thin line of soft tissue between the lips and the gums. Sometimes, an oversized labial frenum forms which, in turn, can cause a front teeth gap.
Thumb sucking, improper swallowing and, basically, any other habit that involves your (front) teeth can also lead to Diastema. If a child already has diastema as a genetic condition and still displays habits like this, the diastema can worsen over time.
When it comes to how to fix the gap between front teeth there are two types of procedures:
- Fix gap between the teeth with braces
- Fix gap between the teeth without braces
How to Fix Gap Between the Teeth with Braces
Before you disregard the idea of ever wearing braces (again), allow us to persuade you to give them another chance.
Braces have come a long way in the last few decades and there are many options available, especially for adults.
In fact, there are braces that are specifically designed to only fix the front teeth gap.
Braces work by constantly pushing your front teeth closer to each other. This may sound painful, but it’s actually painless. The process is relatively slow but the results feel natural and are very much permanent.
Braces range from less noticeable to almost invisible (with the latter usually being more expensive) and treating the gap between the front teeth usually takes anywhere from 18 to 24 months.
How to Fix Gap Between the Teeth Without Braces
If, under no circumstances, will you ever agree to wear braces (again), there are other great solutions to fix the gap between your teeth.
A dental implant is actually a screw that is inserted into your jawbone and held tightly in place while acting as a very convincing tooth. Even though this might sound scary, dental implants are relatively painless and give satisfying results.
Similar to Dental implants, the dental bridge is a false tooth but, this time, it’s held in place by the front teeth between the gap. The dental bridge will cover the gap completely and, don’t worry, it won’t seem like you have an extra tooth at the front.
Gum Disease Treatment
If the gap between the teeth is caused because of a gum disease, the disease has to be treated first. Once your gums have recovered, the gap can be fixed. This might involve braces as sometimes the gum disease damage is too great to be fixed by Dental implants or bridge.
If all else fails, surgery may be required. Using surgery, the doctors can completely remove the extra labial frenum that’s causing a gap between your teeth.
After the surgery, braces may be required.
How to Prevent Gappy Teeth?
Unfortunately, if gappy teeth run in the family, there isn’t much we can do about them.
When it comes to preventing the gap between front teeth caused by gum disease and bad habits, there are a few things you can do:
- Brush your teeth regularly
- Brush your tongue when brushing your teeth
- Visit your dentist and/or orthodontist at least twice a year for a check-up
- Limit sweet food
- Drink water regularly
- Make sure your child stops sucking on his//her thumb and is swallowing properly
While it may sound like the end of the world, a gap between front teeth isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. If it runs in the family, you can leave it as it is and have perfect and healthy teeth, albeit with a small gap.
If it is something that is bothering you and affecting your self-esteem then you may want to visit a dentist and get it sorted once and for all.