Gaps between the teeth can be caused by genetics or certain habits, like tongue thrust and thumb sucking. Whatever the cause, cosmetic dentistry treatments may be used to close gaps between teeth and improve the smile's appearance. If you are unhappy with gaps between your teeth, treatment for gapped teeth may be right for you. To learn more about treatment for gapped teeth, schedule a consultation with Lake Mary, FL dentist Steven Hochfelder.
What Causes Gapped Teeth?
Gapped teeth can occur for a number of reasons. Some people may have gaps between their teeth due to genetics; for example, an oversized labial frenum or undersized teeth can contribute to gapped teeth. Those who are born with a large labial frenum, the tissue that joins the upper lip to the gums, may have a large gap between their two front teeth. Tooth size, a genetic trait, can also cause gaps to form between the teeth. Gaps may occur when the teeth are too small in relation to the jaw.
Some people may develop gaps between their teeth due to certain habits. Thumb sucking or pacifier use beyond the toddler years can change the alignment of the teeth, leading to gaps and other bite issues. Another habit that can cause gaps is a condition called tongue thrust. Tongue thrust refers to a condition in which the tongue pushes against the upper teeth instead of the roof of the mouth when swallowing. Over time, the pressure of the tongue can cause the teeth to shift, potentially forming gaps. Gaps may also form as a result of tooth loss either from poor oral hygiene or an injury.
Treatments for Gapped Teeth
There are many treatments available to close gaps between the teeth, allowing those who are unhappy with gapped teeth to enjoy the confidence of a beautiful smile. Some popular treatments for gapped teeth include:
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, tooth-shaped shells used to treat a variety of dental issues, including gapped teeth.
- Dental bonding: Dental bonding treatment may be used to change the shape, size, and color of the teeth for an overall enhanced appearance.
- Dental crowns: Dental crowns completely encase the teeth and may be used to adjust the size and shape of a tooth, helping to close gaps and hide dental flaws.
- Orthodontics: Orthodontics, such as traditional metal braces or Invisalign®, can physically move the teeth closer together, improving alignment and closing gaps.
- Dental implants: Dental implants may be paired with dental crowns, dentures, or dental bridges to fill gaps caused by missing teeth.
- Frenectomy: A frenectomy is a surgical procedure used to decrease the size of the labial frenum. Those with an oversized labial frenum may need to have a frenectomy before undergoing any of the above procedures.
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
Treatment for gapped teeth can help you achieve the smile of your dreams. To find out which treatment is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hochfelder.