It can be really frustrating to have a gap between front teeth most especially if your daily life requires meeting and facing new people. But worry not because the advanced technology of modern dentistry offers a variety of treatment options on how to fix diastema (the condition of having space between teeth). Options to fix a gap in teeth are described at www.broadforddental.com.au/fix-gap-in-teeth.
The gap between the upper front teeth is always the one that is very easy to notice. But diastema refers to the space between teeth in general. Spaces and gaps can occur anywhere in the mouth and directly affects adults and children. Gaps in children’s teeth usually disappear once their teeth fully develop.
The size of the gaps also differs. Some spaces are big enough to be noticeable while others are too small to be even noticed. Due to cosmetic reasons, some people prefer to have their front teeth gaps fixed since it is usually easy to distinguish.
Having a gap between teeth cannot be considered as harmful as having gum diseases. But in any case, it can cause problems in eating and chewing foods which may lead to digestive problems. Because of the gap, the normal habit of chewing the foods properly gets affected, instead of thoroughly chewing the food to turn it into tiny pieces, people with teeth gap just swallows huge chunk of foods.
Causes of the Gap Between Front Teeth
The root cause of diastema is still unknown. However, several factors can contribute to its occurrence. Here are some of the elements that may result in the teeth gap;
- Size of teeth and jawbone. In order for our teeth to develop and reach their full size with no issues, its size needs to be coordinated in the size of the jaw. When the teeth are too small for the jawbone, the gap between front teeth, upper front teeth, lower front teeth, and side teeth may take place.
- Genetics. Diastema can be hereditary and can be transferred from one generation to another.
- Tissue overgrowth in the gums. Overgrowth of tissues in the gum line leads to teeth gap often seen at the upper front teeth.
- Childhood habits. Infants and toddlers are fond of thumb sucking. If this habit took a long time to perish, the force exerted on the teeth leaves a gap on the front teeth.
- Pressure on the front teeth. Gap also arises due to the incorrect way of swallowing. Sometimes, children end up placing their tongue at the upper part of their mouth while swallowing, causing the tongue to push the front teeth. Dentists often refer to this as the tongue thrust. It does not result in serious damage, but too much force on the teeth could lead to teeth partition.
- Mouth infection and gum diseases. When the mouth gets infected, inflammation will follow. This results in damaged gums and teeth which usually accelerate to tooth loss or in other cases, teeth gap.
According to research, about 98% of children aging 6 years old below have diastema. Although this rate slowly decreases as their teeth develop into its full size closing the gap.
Symptoms Of Diastema
Since some teeth gap takes place on hidden areas of the teeth, hence, making its existence left unknown. Unlike front teeth gaps, hidden gaps are not easy to find unless it’s visible. The symptoms of the gap depend on its actual cause. If you are experiencing any of the following, you might be suffering from gum disease;
- Red gums
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
Few of us are unaware but there are several treatment options to choose from to close the gap between teeth. If the gap does not bother you at all and is not interfering with your meals and chewing habits, you may opt to keep the gap and just let it be. On the contrary, some people tend to consult dentists for a solution due to aesthetic reasons. These treatments include:
- Braces. This dental treatment is most commonly used to fix teeth gaps as well as other dental problems such as misaligned teeth and wrongfully positioned jaws. It usually takes 1 to 2 years before braces can be removed. This a long process but definitely a guaranteed way to fix dental problems.
- Invisalign. Just like braces, Invisalign is used to fix and correct other teeth’ deformation. Invisalign’s are less visible and usually costs almost the same as braces.
- Direct composite bonding. One of the cheapest ways to treat teeth gaps is by dental bonding. This procedure is often done to patients with chipped, cracked, or damaged teeth. The treatment is composed of a particular dental adhesive, high-powered light, and tooth-colored resins. The resins will be bonded to the teeth to cover the gap and hide any sign of teeth imperfection.
- Dental veneers. This procedure is recommended for adults only. The most common way to treat diastema is by using composite veneers to conceal the damaged teeth. Veneers are thin natural-colored materials usually made of porcelain which are measured according to the size of the healthy natural teeth. These are set down on top of the damaged teeth to improve the appearance of the whole teeth structure. The only downside of this treatment is that it can be quite expensive.
- Dental restoration. Crowns, implants, and bridges are some of the most complex ways to hide your teeth gap. These procedures are often recommended to patients with severe dental problems and are commonly used to treat complications caused by gum disease.
- Retainers. These materials are generally used after the removal of dental braces. While this may be true, retainers can close small teeth gaps as well. Depending on the size and severity of the diastema, you can see visible results by using retainers.
The occurrence of diastema may vary. Cases of teeth gap due to periodontal diseases could have been prevented with proper oral hygiene and healthy dental habits. But sadly, the progress of diastema because of developmental defects cannot be avoided. If incidents like this transpire, seek professional immediately.
For children, breaking the unhealthy habits that could affect the growth of the teeth is the best way to prevent teeth gaps from happening.