When Fixing That Gap Is More Than a Cosmetic Issue

In dentistry, we call a gap between your teeth a diastema. These spaces can be small and barely noticeable or so large they cause cosmetic or alignment issues in your mouth. For some, diastema disappears on its own as permanent teeth grow in, but others can require professional treatment.

Dr. Peter C. Gambertoglio offers compassionate, one-on-one dental care for people in Spring, Texas. If you have a gap in your teeth, here are a few reasons he might recommend treatment.

Getting to the cause of diastema

First, it’s important to understand what’s to blame for the gaps between your teeth because some factors can indicate a problem. 

Genetics

A diastema often occurs because of the size of your teeth and the size of your jaw. Simply put: If your teeth are too small for your jaw, you’ll have spaces in between your teeth. 

It’s also possible to have an oversized labial frenum, which can lead to tooth separation. This tissue extends from the inside of your upper lip to the gum above your upper front teeth.

Repetitive poor behaviors

Over time, activities that put pressure on your front teeth can push them forward, causing a gap to form, especially in childhood. These activities include sucking on thumbs, fingers, or pacifiers, along with mouth breathing and tongue thrusting. 

Gum disease

Unfortunately, shifting teeth and gaps can also occur because of advanced gum disease. In these cases, inflammation causes bone damage and deterioration to the structures supporting your teeth. Without treatment, gaps can form, teeth can become loose, and you can experience tooth loss.

When to treat diastema

Dr. Gambertoglio recommends correcting diastema if the gap puts your oral or physical health at risk — especially if you have gum disease or bite issues. After performing a comprehensive exam, Dr. Gambertoglio could suggest several approaches. 

Gum disease treatment

Before correcting the gaps in between your teeth, it’s crucial to address any existing oral health problems. If you have gum disease, this could include deep cleaning, scaling, or surgery to remove the tartar and bacteria causing your infection.

Veneers

The fastest way to correct diastema involves veneers. These thin, tooth-like shells of porcelain cover the visible portion of your tooth. With this approach, you can completely change the shape and color of one (or all) of your teeth, creating a more uniform smile without gaps. 

Invisalign®

When you choose the Invisalign system, you can get straight and perfectly aligned teeth without the discomfort and hassle of traditional metal braces. Instead, this barely noticeable system of removable trays gently shifts your teeth into their ideal position, making them a convenient and comfortable straightening solution.

Full-mouth reconstruction

If you have dental problems causing your diastema that go beyond standard cosmetic dentistry options, Dr. Gambertoglio could suggest full-mouth reconstruction. This process does more than fix the gaps in your teeth; it also restores functionality to your mouth, bite, and chewing system.

Do you have one or more gaps between your teeth? Make sure they aren’t putting your oral health at risk. Contact our office by calling 281-350-8852 to book a consultation today.

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