If gapped teeth have you feeling self-conscious about the appearance of your smile, you may benefit from treatment for gapped teeth. Cosmetic dentistry treatments are highly effective at addressing gaps between teeth and improving the overall appearance of the smile. Learn more about treatments for gapped teeth from San Antonio dentist Chris Reger.
What Causes Gapped Teeth?
Gapped teeth may occur for a number of reasons. Determining the cause of gapped teeth is key to administering the most appropriate treatment. A diastema, a gap between two teeth, may develop over time or be a result of genetics. Some common causes of gapped teeth include the following:
- Excessive labial frenum tissue: The labial frenum is the tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums, running between the front upper teeth. When the labial frenum tissue is excessive, a large gap may occur between the two front teeth.
- Alignment issues: Issues with tooth alignment can result in gaps between the teeth.
- Issues with tooth size and the jawbone: Issues between the size of the teeth, specifically when the teeth are small, compared to the size of the jawbone, can result in gaps between the teeth.
- Tooth loss: Missing teeth can lead to gaps between the teeth where a tooth has gone missing, but tooth loss can also cause the remaining teeth to shift. This can create gaps even in areas where teeth are not missing.
- Tongue thrust: Tongue thrust is a disorder involving the swallowing reflex. In normal swallowing, the tongue presses into the roof of the mouth. For those who suffer from tongue thrust, the tongue presses forward and into the teeth. The regular pressure of the tongue pressing against the teeth can cause the teeth to gradually shift, potentially causing gaps to develop.
Treatments for Gapped Teeth
Once a cause of a patient's gapped teeth is determined, a treatment plan may be created. Determining the cause is most important in cases in which gaps develop over time because the gaps may occur again if the underlying cause is not addressed. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments for gapped teeth, such as:
- Frenectomy: A frenectomy may be used to remove excessive labial frenum tissue and is often performed in conjunction with other treatments to close gaps between teeth.
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers treatment can be performed in two to three dental visits to quickly address gaps between the teeth. Porcelain veneers are tooth-shaped fabrications, which fit over the front surface of the teeth, to address gaps and mask flaws.
- Dental bonding: Dental bonding can close gaps like porcelain veneers but rather than using porcelain fabrications, dental bonding treatment is performed using a putty-like resin applied and shaped directly on the teeth.
- Orthodontics: Orthodontics can correct mild to severe gaps between multiple teeth. Traditional metal braces and the more aesthetically pleasing Invisalign® treatment gradually close gaps between teeth by slowing adjusting the alignment of the teeth.
- Dental implants: Dental implants provide a permanent solution for missing teeth, which can help fill gaps between teeth and prevent the remaining teeth from shifting.
Find Out if You're a Candidate
If you suffer from gapped teeth, you're most likely a candidate for treatment. There are many treatments available for correcting gapped teeth, making most patients suitable candidates. To find out which treatments are right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Reger.