Treatment Options for Gapped Teeth

By Steven Kail on December 22, 2014

Profile of a woman with bright, white teeth smilingGaps between teeth can cause embarrassment, but they don't have to. There are many treatment options available to quickly closing gaps between teeth and restore your confidence. Porcelain veneers are one of the leading treatments for closing gaps and masking dental flaws. If gapped teeth make you feel self-conscious about your smile, you may benefit from porcelain veneers or one of the many other treatment options offered at our Jackson practice. Read on to learn more.

Reasons for Gaps Between Teeth

A gap between two teeth is called a diastema and can occur for a variety of reasons. Though a diastema can occur between any two teeth, it is most commonly found in the upper front teeth. Some causes for gaps between teeth include:

  • Difference in size of jawbone vs. tooth size: The size of the jawbone in relation to the size of the teeth can lead to spaces forming between the teeth or overcrowding. Spaces will form if the teeth are too small in relation to the size of the jawbone and, conversely, overcrowding will occur if the teeth are too large.
  • Large labial frenum: The labial frenum is the tissue that runs along the inside of the upper lip and connects to the gums above and between the two front teeth. In some people, the labial frenum extends into the gum line, passing between the two front teeth. When this happens, a large gap generally results.
  • Issues with swallowing reflex: For some people, gaps between teeth may develop as a result of an incorrect swallowing reflex. With a correct swallowing reflex, the tongue moves up against the roof of the mouth. Some people's tongue moves forward into the teeth instead, called tongue thrust. For those with tongue thrust, the regular pressure placed against the front teeth can push the teeth forward, creating gaps between teeth over time.
  • Gum disease: Gum disease can result in tooth loss. When teeth are lost, the jawbone changes, which can lead to new gaps forming between the teeth.

Treatments for Closing Gaps Between Teeth

Treating diastema begins with determining the cause. For those who have developed a gap, or multiple gaps, as a result of gum disease or tongue thrust, gaps will continue to grow if the underlying causes are not treated. Once the cause is determined, there are many treatment options for closing gaps and improving aesthetics.

  • Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain veneers are tooth-shaped restorations that fit over the front of the teeth. Porcelain veneers can be used to close gaps and correct other dental imperfections.
  • Dental Bonding: Dental bonding uses a putty-like resin to reshape the teeth and mask flaws. Gaps can be closed with dental bonding treatment.
  • Orthodontics: Orthodontic treatment closes gaps between teeth by gradually changing the alignment of the teeth within the jawbone.
  • Frenectomy: Gaps caused by a large labial frenum can be corrected with a frenectomy, followed by one of the above treatments. A frenectomy is used to remove excess labial frenum tissue. Once this tissue is removed, the dental gaps can be closed with traditional orthodontics, porcelain veneers, or dental bonding.
  • Dental Implants: Gaps can occur as a result of missing teeth. Dental implant treatment can be paired with dental crowns to restore missing teeth, helping to reduce gaps between teeth.

Schedule a Consultation

To find out which treatment is best for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation today.

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