Having a gap between your teeth can do more than just make you want to hide your smile. This issue, referred to as diastema, often affects the front teeth, but there can be gaps between any of your teeth. When these gaps appear between baby teeth, they often actually go away on their own when the permanent teeth come in.
When gaps occur in adult teeth, however, you may need to come see us to close the gap. But what causes these gaps, and what issues can they cause?
Causes of Diastema
Diastema can be caused by a number of different factors. Generally, several of these factors come together to create the gap in your teeth. The size of your jaw and your teeth may cause gaps. If your teeth are on the small side, but your jaw bone is fairly large, your teeth will naturally have spaces between them.
Another issue that affects diastema is when the tissue on your gums is overgrown. This pushes up between the teeth, creating a gap. Both of these issues can be genetic.
There are some bad habits that can create gaps. Children who suck their thumb may cause gaps, as can swallowing incorrectly. When this occurs, the tongue actually presses against the front teeth, pushing them apart. Gum disease may also cause a gap between teeth.
Why Do these Gaps Need to be Fixed?
While gaps between teeth can close on their own, that's not always the case. When you have a gap between your teeth, especially your front teeth, you may feel very self-conscious. This can affect your desire to smile or to even speak in front of a large group of people. Even if there are no other issues caused by the gap, you may want to consider cosmetic dentistry.
A good-sized gap between your teeth can actually cause the teeth next to them to become misaligned. This can cause a domino effect, causing all or most of your teeth to become misaligned. That, in turn, will change your bite.
If you have a gap between your teeth that you hate, give us a call today to discuss your options for closing it.