There are many treatments available to address gaps between the teeth. Cosmetic dentistry treatments can benefit those who wish to improve the appearance of their smiles, quickly and effectively. To find out if treatment for gapped teeth is right for you, schedule a consultation with Palmyra, IN dentist Toni Sartini.
What Causes Gapped Teeth?
Gapped teeth can be congenital or acquired. Congenital gapped teeth may occur due to an oversized labial frenum or due to tooth size in relation to the jaw. Some common causes of acquired gapped teeth are prolonged thumb and pacifier sucking, a swallowing disorder called tongue thrust, and tooth loss.
Oversized labial frenum: A large gap between the two upper teeth is most often caused by a large labial frenum. The labial frenum is the tissue that connects the lips to the gums. This tissue may extend down between the teeth, causing a gap to form.
Tooth size in relation to the jaw: Gaps may be caused by the teeth being too small in relation to the jawbone.
Tongue thrust: With tongue thrust, the tongue presses into the upper teeth, pushing them forward, instead of pressing into the roof of the mouth. Over time, this regular pressure can cause gaps to form between the teeth.
Prolonged pacifier use or thumb sucking: Sucking the thumb, a pacifier, or bottle during the toddler years can cause the teeth to shift and may affect the way the adult teeth grow once they develop.
Tooth loss: Tooth loss is another acquired cause of gaps between the teeth. Of course, gaps will form where a tooth is missing, but tooth loss can cause the remaining teeth to shift within the mouth, leading to gaps.
Treatments for Gapped Teeth
Whether gapped teeth are acquired or congenital, there are many treatments available to close gaps and enhance the smile. Some popular treatments include:
Frenectomy: For those with an enlarged labial frenum, a frenectomy may be required to close gaps between the upper teeth. A frenectomy is a procedure used to remove excess tissue from the labial frenum. When performed on adults, additional treatment may be needed to close gaps but younger patients may see results without additional treatment.
Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin shells used to cover the front surface of the teeth, improving shape, color, and overall appearance. Porcelain veneers may be used as instant orthodontics to close gaps between the teeth.
Dental bonding: Dental bonding may also be used to enhance the smile’s appearance and close gaps between the teeth. With dental bonding treatment, a soft, tooth-colored resin is shaped directly onto the teeth and hardened to create a beautiful smile.
Dental crowns: Dental crowns fit completely over individual teeth and can be used to reshape the teeth and close gaps.
Orthodontics: Both traditional orthodontics and cosmetically appealing methods, like Invisalign®, are highly effective at closing gaps.
Dental implants: Gaps caused by missing teeth can be filled with dental implant-supported restorations. Dental implants may be paired with dental crowns to replace individual teeth, implant-supported bridges to replace multiple teeth, or implant-supported dentures to replace a full set of teeth.
Which Treatments Are Right for You?
To learn more about treatments for gapped teeth, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sartini.