No matter how well you take care of your teeth, it’s still possible to have problems that are out of your control. Gap teeth are one of these problems. If you have gaps between your teeth anywhere in your mouth, they can make you feel self conscious. This means you are less likely to smile as often as you should. It’s known that smiling is good for your overall well-being. So, not feeling able to smile can have a detrimental effect on the way you feel.
The good news is that you are not stuck with gap teeth forever. There are things that can be done to solve the problem. Let’s start by looking at what causes gap teeth and then discuss what can be done to help.
What causes gap teeth?
There are several different reasons why gaps may be present between teeth.
- The size of the jawbone and the size of the teeth are not perfectly matched.
- Teeth are missing, or are an unusual size. This can cause other teeth to move to compensate, creating gaps in various places.
- The tongue presses against the front teeth when a person swallows. This can cause the front teeth to push apart over time.
- Thumb sucking causes teeth to be pushed out of alignment.
- Gum disease causes the jawbone to weaken, allowing teeth to loosen and move.
These are just some of the reasons why a tooth gap (diastema) can appear. Even if teeth gapping does not worry you, it’s still important to have the situation checked by a dentist. There could be an underlying cause which needs to be addressed in order to prevent damage to teeth. The gap teeth themselves can also be dealt with. The method used depends on the individual circumstances.
Treating gapped teeth
If you have larger than normal gaps between your teeth, there are several treatments available. You need to speak to your dentist to see which treatment is the best choice for you. They will advise you about which option will give you the best results in your case.
This is a quick and easy solution to gap teeth. A resin is applied to the teeth where there is a gap present. The resin is set using the application of light and it hardens to look like natural tooth. This resin closes the gap between teeth so that your smile looks even and natural. The resin can be removed from your mouth if necessary.
The main benefit of bonding is that it can usually be done during one quick visit to the dentist. However, the resin can stain and chip over time. It’s important to take good care of the bond once it’s in place, so that it lasts for as long as possible.
It’s possible to correct some cases of gap teeth using veneers. A thin portion of enamel is removed from the front of the tooth and is replaced with a porcelain veneer. The veneer can help to fill the gap between one tooth and the next. Veneers are tough and long lasting. However, unlike bonding resin, they are permanent. Once you have veneers fitted on your teeth they are there for good as they provide the protection that was once provided by the enamel that has been removed. This is why you need to be certain that this is the best choice of treatment option for you.
Depending on how severe the problem is, your dentist may suggest orthodontic treatment for gap teeth. This will usually happen when closing one large gap between teeth is likely to create other gaps in your mouth. On these occasions, braces can be fitted in order to align all teeth in the correct manner.
This does not mean that you are stuck with having metal braces on your teeth. There are other options.
- Hidden braces.
- Invisible braces.
- Clear aligners.
- Aligners that can be removed.
Braces are provided on the NHS for children. This only applies to the fitting of traditional metal braces, but other options can be chosen at extra cost. In the case of adult orthodontic treatment, you should discuss the options with your dentist. They will help you to decide which type of brace is best for you.
Obviously, orthodontic treatment takes longer to complete than dental bonding or the fitting of veneers. However, it’s usually the most effective way to resolve severe issues with gap teeth. You may have to put up with wearing a brace for a while, but your smile will be fixed for the long term.
The results provided by orthodontic treatment allow you to chew more easily as your teeth are aligned. They also help you to feel more self confident as you have straight teeth with no gaps.
What to do if you have gap teeth
If you have gaps between your teeth, you should see your dentist to discuss the problem. Any underlying issues need to be identified and dealt with. If there are no potentially harmful causes of the gapping, you may choose to leave your teeth as they are. Some people are happy with gap teeth as they feel the gaps add individuality to their appearance.
However, you may prefer to ask your dentist for help with closing any unsightly gaps. At the Neem Tree, we take time to discuss problems with gap teeth with our patients. Every discussion is different, depending on how severe the problem is and which treatment option is the best solution. All of the options mentioned in this article can be the best treatment for gap teeth, depending on circumstances.
If you have a problem with gap teeth, contact the Neem Tree for help. We will carry out a thorough examination and discuss your options with you. We will help you to decide the best treatment for gap teeth in your case.