Closing Gaps Between Teeth is More Than Just for Cosmetics
Wide gaps between teeth can be charming or they can cause people to want to hide their smiles.
The problem with spaces between the teeth is that they create food traps. These food traps can result in tooth and gum disease. Gaps in the front teeth have also been associated with speech problems.
Gaps between teeth are referred to as a diastema or space between two teeth. Gaps are commonly seen between the front teeth but can occur between any two teeth.
Why do some people get gaps between their teeth? Spaces between teeth can form for a number of reasons. It can be related to a mismatch between the size of the jaw bones and teeth. If the teeth are too small for the jaw bone spaces can occur between the teeth. If the teeth are too big for the jaw, teeth will be crowded.
Spaces develop for a few other reasons as well. When teeth are missing or undersized, especially with the lateral incisors(teeth next to the upper front teeth) it creates a space between the upper central incisors.
An oversized labial frenum, ( piece of tissue that extends from inside of upper lip to the gum above the two front teeth) can cause a diastema.
Oral Habits can lead to gaps between the teeth. Thumb sucking tends to pull the front teeth forward, creating gaps.
Spaces can develop from an incorrect swallowing reflex. Tongue thrust is when the tongue presses against the front teeth and over time the pressure pushes the front teeth forward which results in spaces between the front teeth. These gaps can continue to grow larger over time.
Children with baby or deciduous teeth may have temporary gaps. Most of the spaces will close as the adult or permanent teeth come in.
Dr. Mark Sayed Orthodontics in San Juan Capistrano recommends regular visits to your dentist. Whether you are an adult or child maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to preventing gum and tooth disease.
If you are concerned with a space in your teeth or your child’s, talk with your dentist. They can determine the reason for the space and may refer you to an orthodontist, a specialist in treatment with braces. Dr. Mark Sayed Orthodontics offers complimentary exams for both children and adults. Dr. Sayed does consultations for children as early as age seven.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. Treatment (if needed) may not begin right away. You and the orthodontist will discuss the overall treatment plan.
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