Many people have gaps between some of their teeth. Read on to learn more about the causes of this issue and the ways in which it can be treated.
What causes tooth gaps?
A gap between two teeth can sometimes occur when a person's teeth are not large enough for their jaw bone; in such cases, the adult teeth that grow in will often spread out to the point where there are visible spaces between them.
A gap can also be created if a person (as a result of having a genetic abnormality) does not develop a full set of adult teeth, or if they have problematic dental habits like thumb sucking which affect the alignment of their teeth.
What type of problems are associated with tooth gaps?
In most cases, the issues associated with tooth gaps are cosmetic. Having noticeable spaces between their teeth can make some individuals feel a bit self-conscious about the way that their mouth looks when they smile, laugh or speak.
However, large spaces between a person's teeth may also sometimes result in speech impediments; they might, for instance, find that they make a soft hissing or whistling sound when pronouncing certain words.
What type of dental treatments are used to correct a tooth gap?
There are several ways to correct tooth gaps; the treatment a dentist recommends for this problem will depend largely on what is causing the gap. If for example, the gaps are the result of misaligned teeth, a dentist may refer their patient to a dental professional who specialises in orthodontics; they will be able to provide them with a set of braces which will reposition their teeth and thus help to close up any spaces. This movement of teeth can take quite some time; the patient will usually have to wear the braces for at least a few months before they begin to notice visible changes to the position of their teeth. However, whilst the realignment process can be quite lengthy, the results are usually permanent.
If, on the other hand, the gaps are due to their teeth being too small for their jawbone, then their dentist may advise them to have dental crowns fitted. A dental crown acts as a type of cap which covers up spaces between teeth. It is normally made from either porcelain or ceramic. Unlike the aforementioned braces, dental crowns do not serve as a permanent form of correction for tooth gaps; they usually need to be replaced once every decade or so.
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