Gaps between teeth can be distracting, and they can also cause other dental issues. It’s important to address the issue before it causes other problems. A gap between your teeth is known as a diastema. Diastema itself is not a health problem, but it can cause a number of issues if it is left untreated.
Types of Gaps Between Teeth
There are several different types of gaps that can occur between two teeth, including:
- Diastema: A naturally occurring gap that occurs between the two front teeth.
- Gapped tooth: An adult tooth that did not grow in completely or did not erupt above the gum line.
- Overbite: The upper and lower jaws do not meet properly when the mouth is closed. When teeth are overlapped, a gap can occur between the top teeth and the lower jaw.
- Underbite: The lower jaw does not match up with the opposing upper jaw when the mouth is closed. This can cause a gap in the space between the bottom teeth and the upper jaw.
Concerns With Gapped Teeth
One common problem associated with a space between teeth is sensitivity. If food particles get trapped in that space between your teeth and aren’t properly brushed away, they can cause you to experience sensitivity and discomfort.
Food particles can also start to decay in the tiny space, which will increase your risk of cavities. Additionally, if your gums recede due to periodontal disease in that area of your mouth, it can create a larger gap because the bone and tissue are lost.
Treatment for gapped teeth depends on the underlying cause of the gap. If you have gingivitis or gum disease, you will need treatment to get rid of it before the gap is closed. However, if the tooth and bone were lost as a result of bone loss from periodontal disease, orthodontic treatment will be needed to repair the damage before the gap is closed with orthodontics.
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, our dentist may suggest braces or other orthodontic work as part of your treatment plan. Braces and orthodontics are among the most popular ways to fix a gap in a smile and straighten the teeth.
Without treatment, the issue may get worse. If left untreated, gaps can cause other oral health problems to develop as well. Other possible treatment options include cosmetic bonding, porcelain veneers, and dental crowns. Talk to our dentist about the best option for your specific case.
For more information, contact our Alexandria dental office at (703) 823-2848 or 5130 Duke St, Suite 8, Alexandria, VA 22304, or our Manassas dental office at (703) 479-7654 or 8608 Centreville Rd, Manassas, VA 20110.