The gaps or spaces between the front teeth are not inherently harmful. These gaps are fairly common yet they tend to bother patients due to aesthetic concerns. The question is why such gaps form between the teeth in the first place.
Below, we address this question in-depth to help patients better understand their teeth.
Why the Cause of Teeth Gaps Matters
The cause of the gap in between your front teeth is of the utmost importance. If the dentist is able to identify the true cause of the gap, he or she will be able to custom tailor the appropriate treatment for your nuanced mouth. However, it is worth mentioning some people like the famous football player, Michael Strahan, enjoy the appearance of their gapped teeth. If you do not mind the look of the gap in your teeth, enjoy your smile! However, if you do not like the look of the gap, your dentist can remedy it with a number of treatments.
The Many Reasons Why Gaps Form Between Teeth
There are all sorts of reasons for the formation of gaps between the teeth. Though it might be hard to believe, it is true that tongue thrusting can contribute to the formation of gaps in the front teeth. Those who press their tongue against the teeth when swallowing might end up with a gap in between the front teeth in due time. Dental habits also play a role in the formation of teeth gaps. Little ones who use pacifiers or suck their thumbs after the age of four might also develop gaps in between the front teeth. Furthermore, some people simply do not get all adult teeth. If you are missing a tooth and forced to keep the baby tooth for as long as it is healthy, a gap might result.
If the large labial frenum grows between the two front teeth, it can separate them and form a gap. This portion of the mouth is best described as the diminutive flap that connects the upper lip to the gums. However, the labial frenum must be quite large to spur the formation of such a gap. If the tissue moves below its regular position and juts between the central teeth, it will prevent them from closing off the open space. If teeth are too small for the space in question, the teeth might spread out and lead to the formation of a gap.
Size Differences and Additional Causes of Gaps Between Teeth
The top cause of diastema (tooth gaps) is the difference between the size of the jaw and the size of the teeth. Improper spacing occurs when teeth are normally sized but the jaw is overly-large. Additional causes of gaps between the teeth include periodontitis and mesiodens. Periodontitis is the advanced version of gum disease. It is typically characterized by inflamed gums and/or bone loss. If left untreated, periodontitis can actually worsen the gap between teeth. Mesiodens leads to diastema in the same manner as an overly-large labial frenum. It grows along the back portion of the central incisors, preventing them from moving together and decreasing the gap's size.
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