You might have noticed it already; that gap between your two front teeth are widening with each passing month. At first, you may simply brush it away as a normal part of aging. While it may be true, there is more to teeth gaps than they appear.
Known as diastema, teeth gaps occur for a variety of reasons. It is often the result of a mismatch between the size of your jawbone and the size of your teeth. If the jawbone is substantially larger than the size of the teeth, the growing teeth cannot sufficiently cover the widening breadth of the jaws.
In some cases, teeth gaps occur in individuals who have missing teeth or undersized dentition. In other cases, diastema may be the result of the excessive growth of the labial frenum – a fold of tissue inside the upper lip that extends into the upper gums. Other possible causes of teeth gaps include thumb-sucking, dysfunctional swallowing reflex, and gum diseases.
Can It be Prevented?
If the reason for the teeth gap is a mismatch between the jaw size and the teeth size, there is not much that you can do to prevent it. Nonetheless, avoiding thumb-sucking, observing proper gum health, and re-learning proper swallowing may help you prevent teeth gaps.
Can It be Treated?
Depending on the cause of the diastema, the variety of treatment options will be directed towards the correction or management of the cause. If the gap is relatively minimal, some people just choose to live with it and simply take some measures to keep it from growing further apart.
For those individuals who are conscious about their appearances, Northern Ireland cosmetic dentistry practices have identified a range of treatments that may be useful in the management of diastema.
- Dental braces
- Crowns and veneers for small incisors
- Dental implants, partial dentures, or bridgework for missing teeth
- Surgical removal of the enlarged labial frenum
- Periodontal treatments for gum conditions
Do not let teeth gaps ruin your smile. Consult your dentist to find out the appropriate solution for your oral problem.