When there is a gap between two upper front teeth, it is called as Midline diastema.
What are the reasons for teeth Gaps?
Unusual spacing in between the teeth can be due to:
1. Improper size of teeth – Some teeth are very small when compared to others
2. Jaw is comparatively bigger in size – Creating more spaces in between the teeth. It is not very common to have large jaws with all small teeth.
3. The tissue that extends from palate till the gums of upper front teeth is called Labial frenum. It can be large in size creating space between the respective teeth.
4. Your child can have the habit of thumb sucking at a very regular basis even after the age of 3 yrs. This creates untimely gap in between the teeth especially the upper front teeth.
5. The gums and periodontium can get infected and result in gaps, especially in adults of approximately 40-60 yrs.
6. Sometimes if your child belongs to the age group of 9-12 yrs, it is common to have gaps. It is called as the Ugly duckling period. Such gaps would reduce as all the teeth erupt. It is not of much worry and meeting your dentist will assure about it being very normal.
What problems occur due to teeth Gaps?
1. It affects the appearance of smile.
2. If the teeth alignment is imperfect since childhood, the gaps remain the same.
3. If it is due to any habit or gum infection. It will increase with the worsening of the habit or gum infection.
4. There will be food lodgement in between the teeth resulting in a need for better oral hygiene practices.
How to diagnose the problem?
Timely observation will help in pointing out the presence of gaps. Dentist will analyse the cause with the help of X-rays and help you with the treatment.
How to treat the Teeth Gaps?
- Early consultation to the dentist helps in receiving better treatment. If the Gap is in between two teeth, usage of composites, veneers, laminates, crowns can help in covering the gap.
- If the Gap is in between all the teeth, consulting the Orthodontist will help in permanent treatment of the problem.
- If the Gap is due to enlarged Labial frenum, the periodontist will proceed with frenectomy – the labial frenum is removed surgically.
- Frenectomy is a chair side procedure. Local anaesthesia is given and frenum is removed using surgical blade followed by suture placement. The problem can sometimes recur and frenum may grow again. Your Dentist can better judge the need for it.
- If the spaces are increasing due to habit then consult the pedodontist and orthodontist for the appropriate habit breaking appliance followed by the need for orthodontic treatment.
- If the spaces are increasing due to gum infections, the periodontist will provide the appropriate treatment and instructions to be followed to prevent the problem.
How to prevent the formations of teeth Gaps?
The eruption and size-shape of the teeth cannot be controlled by us. You can just take timely care and advice from your dentist. The gum infections and habits can be reduced by oral hygiene practices, observation and regular checkups.
The small gaps between the teeth can be filled with your interest and with the help of your dentist as they always help you to get a confident and healthy smile.