How a Dentist Can Close the Gap Between Your Teeth
- January 28, 2014
If you were a kangaroo and had a problem with your teeth, what would you do? You’d be lucky, because kangaroos are one of the few mammals that experience what is known as “polyphyodonty” — their teeth are constantly replaced, as the abrasive grasses they eat wear them down.
As humans, we’re stuck with our teeth for life, whether we like them or not. The good news is that, with the help of affordable dentists and cosmetic dental care, it’s usually possible to get the teeth you want. One common dental problem thousands of people experience is “diastemas” — a fancy term for gapped teeth.
There are several common reasons that gaps form between teeth. The most common, and usually harmless reason, is a spacing issue where the jawbone size doesn’t quite match up with teeth size, leaving gaps. There are a few causes, though, that you should look out for, especially if your gap has recently formed. Tumors, gum disease, and pushing tongue rings into a smaller gap can cause larger gaps to form.
According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, about 5% of the adult population has tooth gaps greater than or equal to 2mm in size. It’s important to note distance between the teeth, because not everyone wants to get rid of their gap. Although gaps are typically fixed, several famous actors and models, including Lara Stone and Anna Paquin, have kept theirs. These gaps, though, are usually quite small, about 1mm in length.
If you have a large gap between your teeth and want to get rid of it, you have several cosmetic dental care options for treatment. One of the most common choices would be braces, in which brackets are applied to your teeth. Today, traditional metal braces are not your only option. Clear braces are similar, but less visible. Some dentists can also place braces on the back of your teeth, rather than the front. Finally, there is Invisalign, a straightening technique administered through replaceable, clear aligners.
If your gap isn’t the only problem, veneers are also an option. Veneers are thin, porcelain shells applied to the surface of your teeth, and they can hide discoloration and cracks, as well as shrink the gap space. This is most ideal for patients with a relatively small gap, or a larger gap they want to shrink, but not entirely dispose of.
Are you interested in cosmetic dental treatments that can close up your gap?