A gap in your teeth can be caused by many things from missing teeth elsewhere in the mouth to genetics. Some tooth gaps require treatment to ensure further dental concerns do not develop and others can be embraced exactly as they are. Depending on the cause of the gap, there will be different treatment options available. Your dentist may also advise you that the gap does not require fixing, though if you’d like to adjust it for cosmetic reasons, we are happy to help you achieve the smile you dream of!
Reasons For A Gap In The Teeth
There are numerous natural and causational ways that a gap can develop in your teeth.
- Teeth that are too small for the jawbone
- Missing or undersized teeth
- Oversized labial frenum (the tissue that extends from the inside of the upper lip to the gum above the upper front teeth)
- Advanced gum disease causing loose/shifted teeth
- Habits such as thumb or lip sucking, tongue thrust and an incorrect swallow reflex put pressure on the front teeth
How To Fill In A Tooth Gap
The treatment used to fill a gap in the teeth is based on the cause of the gap. When the gap is caused by missing teeth, you need to replace the missing tooth. If it is caused by gum disease, the infection will need to be treated thoroughly before any other treatment option can be explored. But for a natural gap in the teeth or those caused by habits, cosmetic dentistry will typically be the solution. There are several techniques that can be explored:
- Dental Bonding: Using tooth-coloured composite bonding to sculpt a shape that will close small spaces.
- Porcelain Veneers: Thin shells of tooth-coloured porcelain that can be bonded to the front of your teeth to improve their overall shape and appearance.
- Dental Crowns: Replacing the outer shell of the tooth with porcelain or gold to enlarge the space the tooth takes up. Often used if there are concerns about the underlying tooth structure.
- Orthodontics: Gaps between the teeth can often be closed by means of orthodontic treatment with braces or aligners.
Options To Replace Missing Teeth
If your tooth gap is caused by missing teeth, you’ll need to explore options to replace them. If your tooth loss is related to gum disease, you’ll need to work with your dentist to heal the gums prior to exploring either of these options:
- Dental Bridge – An appliance containing one or more artificial teeth (pontics) that is placed in the mouth by attaching to crowns placed on teeth on both sides of the gap. There are many types of dental bridge and your dentist can help you to explore which is better for your unique situation.
- Dental Implant – Small titanium cylinders are inserted into the jaw bone to replace the roots of missing teeth. A permanent dental crown is placed on top of the implant. A dental implant looks and functions like a natural tooth and will typically last up to 25 years.
Gaps in the teeth can cause a host of problems. Misaligned teeth cause wear and tear damage as you go about daily functions such as eating and talking. They can also lead to TMJ disorder, grinding and clenching and headaches. But if your gap is not causing you any of these concerns, then it is perfectly okay to leave them alone. The choice is entirely up to your personal preference since some people love the look of the gap in their teeth and others find their gap diminishes their personal confidence.
At Ambiance Dental, we strive to ensure our patients have a beautiful, functional smile that will age gracefully with them and that they are proud to share with the world. If you have a gap in your teeth, we’d be happy to review your treatment options with you. Please book a consultation today!