Orthodontic Treatment Can be Used to Close Gaps Between Teeth

orthodontic Phoenix, AZ
If you have gaps in your teeth, you might need orthodontic treatment to fix them. The space often appears between your front teeth. The space might be something only you notice when you floss, or it can be very large. Keep reading to learn more about orthodontic treatments for this kind of dental issue.

Are gapped teeth unhealthy?

In a young child, a gap might be charming and make the smile look cute. But adults might not enjoy a gap so much. It is about more than just looks for many people. If there are big gaps, then the teeth might become poorly aligned. That can eventually lead to pain.

Large gaps can also cause jaw issues, such as making the teeth not properly meet when biting. In many cases, food can become trapped in the gap and cause plaque to build up. This is often hard for patients to properly clean out. That might lead to cavities later in life.

What causes gaps?

In some cases, there might be missing teeth, or they might be too small. That can happen when the teeth near the front ones are too small. Then the upper front teeth will come in and have a space in them. Oral habits can also be at fault.

For instance, with thumb-sucking, the front teeth might move forward, forming a gap. Some patients have a tongue thrust, which means the tongue presses against the front teeth. This happens during talking or swallowing and can put too much pressure on them. Finally, advanced stages of gum disease can cause the bone that supports the teeth to deteriorate. That means that the teeth are much more likely to move.

Fixing gaps in teeth

It is normal for children to have gaps in their teeth. Baby teeth often have gaps in them since the primary teeth are smaller than the permanent ones. A gap might also give the child’s mouth some more room while the jaw is developing. That might also prevent overcrowding.

Even in adults, not all kinds of gaps should cause concerns. If there is a small gap in the front teeth, this might only be a cosmetic issue. And it will only be a problem if the patient feels self-conscious. However, if the gap is large or has unhealthy teeth, there might be tongue thrusting involved.

An orthodontist can determine if a patient needs treatment for gaps in the teeth. Some treatments might include braces or cosmetic dentistry. If the gap is developing, retainers might be used to stop it. Oral surgery might be needed in severe cases.

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