Gap between teeth

What is the gap between the teeth?

Also known as a diastema, gaps between teeth can be small or large, as gapped teeth come in all shapes and sizes!

What causes a gap between teeth?

Teeth with gaps are typically naturally occurring, however, there are a few causes to be mindful of:
  • Thumb sucking at an early age can cause the teeth to grow apart rather than being aligned.
  • Poor oral hygiene which develops into gum disease can cause the gums to recede, revealing spacing between the teeth.
  • Having a naturally larger jaw and smaller-sized teeth can create gaps between the teeth.
  • Tongue thrusting- pushing the tongue against the back of the teeth whilst eating, speaking, and resting mouth.
  • Overgrowth of the frenum, the soft tissue between teeth.

How to prevent a gap between teeth?

To prevent gapping between the teeth we suggest that you:
  • Avoid thumb sucking. If this pertains to a child, we suggest trying to curve their habit as soon as possible, this will limit the misalignment caused by the thumb moving the teeth.
  • Brushing and flossing every day, twice a day at minimum for no less than 2 minutes each time.
  • Attending regular checkups with your dentist, preferably every six months.
  • Avoid tongue thrusting, and if this pertains to a child, we recommend inhibiting their habit and teaching them how to avoid tongue thrusting.

How to treat a gap between the teeth?

Gap teeth can be treated with braces or aligners, by visiting your dentist and being referred to an orthodontist. The orthodontist will discuss your options, and which may be more suitable for you. For larger gaps, metal braces may be used over a longer period.
Tooth-size gaps can be replaced with a denture, bridge or implant – you can discuss your suitability for these with your dentist.
Composite bonding is another alternative, which uses a tooth-like resin to reconstruct the tooth the space. A more long-term cosmetic solution is veneers - veneers provide a tooth-like covering over the natural tooth to change the appearance of the smile.
However, we feel it is important to note, that gap teeth are natural and worth embracing. We understand the impact your smile can have on your mental health, so if you feel as though you are struggling, counselling may help with the impact it has on your mental wellbeing.

How to spot a gap between the teeth/symptoms?

Gaps between the teeth are somewhat easy to spot, as it will look like a large space between the teeth. However, smaller gaps may be harder to spot, especially toward the back of the mouth. Food might collect within the gap and raise your attention to the space. We recommend making regular visits to your dentist as they will be able to assess if there is any gapping and will be able to discuss treatments with you.

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