Generally speaking, ignoring an oral health issue is an ill-advised strategy. This is true for dental gaps as well. The best-case scenario is that a dental gap will cause mild embarrassment and pain for the patient. However, there are instances where a dental gap is a symptom of a more serious problem. Patients with dental gaps should contact our office at their earliest convenience to schedule a dental exam.
Causes of Dental Gaps
The most common cause of a dental gap is a missing tooth. Gaps left by missing teeth should be fixed immediately to prevent damage to the remaining teeth as well as sagging on the face. Gum disease is a serious issue that can cost a patient all of their teeth if not treated, so the patient should head to the dentist immediately to get their gum disease controlled. The rest of the causes can be associated with pain and discomfort and should be treated eventually if for no other reasons than to alleviate pain and restore confidence in the patient's smile. Undersized teeth can create gaps when their neighboring teeth are standard-sized or undersized. Mismatched jawbone sizes can cause dental gaps as well as bite issues. Sucking on foreign objects like a thumb can also cause dental gaps.
Methods of Fixing Dental Gaps
Retainers are a common means of fixing dental gaps. Their ability to be removed makes tasks such as oral cleaning and eating easier. Dental bonding involves adding resin to the damaged tooth, reducing the gap by changing the size of the tooth. Veneers are caps placed over the teeth; they're often used for cosmetic purposes, but they solve dental gap problems well. Braces are a traditional means of fixing tooth alignment issues, though some patients will opt for lingual braces or invisible aligners as alternatives.
If you have dental gaps, call our office for a dental exam. We will examine your teeth and recommend the best course of action.
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