An attractive smile is essential for a high level of confidence, but your underlying dental health should be your most important concern. Known as disastema, gap-tooth smiles are common issues affecting many smiles. While it may not seem appealing to you, many people find the gap-tooth smile appealing due to some well-loved celebrities. If you have a gap in between your teeth, you may be wondering when and if to correct this problem. Using this guide, you will understand the possible causes of your gap-toothed smile and learn the best options for repair.
In most cases, disastema occurs between the two front teeth. However, excessive spacing can occur between any teeth in your mouth. The visible space may be obvious, but understanding the cause of your gap-toothed smile is necessary to treat or repair the imperfection.
As a child, your teeth develop in a certain manner and various habits can alter your smile. Sucking on your thumb, a pacifier, or bottle for longer amounts of time can create a gap in your teeth.
In addition, a mismatched jaw and tooth size can create spacing issues. If your teeth are too small for your jaw bone, excessive space will form in between your teeth, resulting in a gap-tooth smile.
Lastly, an oversized labial frenum can cause your smile to have gaps. The labial frenum is the piece of tissue that connects the inside of your upper lip to the portion of your gum right above your two front teeth. If the labial frenum is larger than usual, it will grow between the front teeth, preventing the space from closing correctly.
Not correcting the gap in your smile is a suitable option. However, if your gap is caused by a mismatched jaw, further complications may develop. An orthodontist may suggest a plan of action to correct your bite and realign your jaw, resulting in a closed gap. Here are a few orthodontic treatment options:
- Bands – Your orthodontist may suggest wearing rubber, orthodontic bands around the teeth at night. The bands gradually close the space in between the teeth, but are only effective for smaller gaps.
- Braces – if your gap is larger, a set of braces may be necessary. Braces will also gradually move the teeth, closing them together to repair your gap-toothed smile. The length of time you will need to wear the braces will depend on the size of your gap.
To correct an oversized labial frenum, your doctor may recommend a frenectomy. Conducted as an outpatient procedure, your oral surgeon will administer a light sedative before surgically removing the excess tissue of your labial frenum. While invasive, a frenectomy is an effective start to closing the gap in between your teeth.
Once you have corrected the root cause of your disastema, consider the following cosmetic treatments to correct your smile:
- Veneers–Veneers are thin, porcelain, natural covers for your teeth. Permanent and durable, veneers are perfect options for covering a gap-toothed smile and other imperfections.
- Crowns – Placing a crown on each spaced apart tooth will close in the gap and straighten the overall look of the teeth. By covering the two teeth that frame the gap, the space will be smaller and more appealing. Unfortunately, dental crowns will make the two teeth appear much larger than the others, so they are not recommended for wider gaps.
Orthodontic, surgical, and cosmetic treatments for your gap-toothed smile can be expensive. However, if the problem greatly reduces your self-esteem, the expense can be a smart investment.
While common, diastema does not have to affect your physical and emotional health. Using this guide, you will understand the cause or your gap-toothed smile and find the best treatment option for your needs. Visit http://www.cretzmeyer.com to learn more, or contact a local dental clinic.