A gap-toothed smile is one of the more common cosmetic dental problems. There are many people who would opt to repair their gapped teeth if given the choice. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry provides many different treatment options for these individuals.
Causes of Gapped Teeth
Gaps between teeth – also referred to as diastemas – are usually the result of heredity. In most cases, the jaw is either too big for the teeth, causing them to spread out, or too small for the teeth, causing them to be crowded and pushing one or more teeth out of alignment.
Another common cause of gapping is due to the over development of gum tissue, particularly the labial frenum – the string of tissue that connects the upper lip to the gum line between the two front teeth.
Some individuals develop gaps due to a lack of upper lateral incisors. The lateral incisors are the teeth on each side of the two front teeth. If these teeth do not develop, the other teeth will shift to fill in those gaps, often creating multiple gaps. Losing a tooth and letting it go untreated will eventually lead to gapping as well.
Diastemas can be treated several ways, and the best option for you will depend on the cause of your gapping. Typical treatments include:
Overdeveloped labial frenum tissue can be removed, allowing for closure of front teeth gaps.
If your gapping has developed due to a missing tooth that you have not sought treatment for, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment as soon as possible. Missing teeth that go untreated will inevitably lead to more serious dental problems down the road.