Diastema 一 a gap between teeth 一 is a common dental concern. Some people embrace these spaces as unique features of their smiles, but cosmetic considerations aside, do these gaps pose a threat to oral health?
In this blog, our team explores the causes of gapped teeth, their potential impact on oral health, and how to address them if necessary.
What causes gaps between teeth?
Some people inherit a gap between their front teeth from their parents, but genetics isn’t the only reason one may develop. Gaps can also form as a result of:
- Size discrepancy between teeth and jawbone
- Thumb sucking or excessive pacifier use
- Missing teeth
- Teeth that have shifted out of place
- Gum disease, if it leads to tooth loss
Sometimes, gaps are hardly noticeable; in other cases, they’re large.
Are gaps in my teeth a threat to my oral health?
Gaps between teeth don’t inherently pose a threat to oral health. However, they can lead to dental issues, bigger gaps especially. These issues include:
Decay and gum disease
Gaps can trap food particles and debris and make it harder for you to clean between your teeth. If food and debris aren’t removed, plaque and tartar can settle in, increasing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Speech difficulties may arise, particularly with large gaps. Missing teeth create the largest gaps and can impact your ability to make sounds that require contact between your tongue, lips, and teeth, including Th, F and D.
Lisping may also occur, and your overall speech clarity can be affected. Restoring missing teeth and closing gaps through dental treatments like implants, bridges, or dentures can help improve speech difficulties caused by tooth loss and large gaps.
Self-esteem and confidence
Gaps in teeth can impact self-esteem and confidence at work, at home, and in social settings with friends.
Addressing gaps between teeth
If you’re concerned about the gaps in your teeth, Ardsley Dental Spa in Ardsley, New York, offers various options. Depending on the size of your gap, whether you have any missing teeth, and your personal preferences, our team of experts may recommend:
Orthodontic procedures can help close gaps, correct misaligned teeth, and improve malocclusion. Ardsley Dental Spa is a certified provider of Invisalign® clear aligners.
Is your gap on the smaller side? Dental bonding involves applying a tooth-colored resin to your teeth to close small gaps. It’s a noninvasive and cost-effective option.
Porcelain veneers can create a more uniform appearance by covering gaps and improving the overall aesthetics of your smile. Veneers might be a good choice to address multiple cosmetic issues at once. Veneers can enhance the size, shape, and shade of your teeth.
Retainers maintain the alignment of teeth after orthodontic treatment. Invisalign has its own retainer to help maintain proper tooth alignment.
Dental implants or bridges
If your gaps are due to missing teeth, dental implants or bridges can replace the missing teeth and close the space.
Say goodbye to gaps and hello to a new smile
While gaps between teeth aren’t necessarily a threat to oral health, they can lead to some dental issues and impact self-esteem. To say goodbye to those pesky gaps, call us at 914-875-2049 or book your appointment online today.