SCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ, CA
Gapped teeth or diastema can be embarrassing and cause you to smile with a closed-mouth grin instead of showing your teeth. There are several reasons why your teeth may be gapped. But understanding the cause will help you and your dentist decide on the best treatment. Traditionally, orthodontics is the go-to treatment for closing gapped teeth, although not all patients with diastema want braces or can afford treatment. Thankfully, there are cosmetic dental treatments that can repair this condition. So today on the blog, we share the best ways to fix gapped teeth without getting braces. But first, let’s explore different causes of gapped teeth.
Diastema is the official term for gapped teeth caused by genetics. If one of your parents had gapped front teeth, you likely do too, and your children have a greater chance of developing diastema. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t fix it.
In some cases, gum overgrowth or thick gums force spaces between teeth. Additionally, a lip-tie can also be responsible for gapped front teeth. A lip-tie is when the frenum or tissue that tethers the upper lip to your gums is too thick, interfering with tooth alignment and spacing.
Tooth loss is quite prevalent among adults in the U.S., despite having access to preventive dental care and oral hygiene products that reduce the risk of dental diseases. However, tooth loss can cause gaps or spaces between your remaining teeth. Teeth like their neighbors, and when a tooth gets pulled, the remaining teeth may slowly drift, creating unwanted spaces between them.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
Also referred to as OMDs, these disorders may include tongue thrust, open mouth posture, poor oral posture, prolonged thumb sucking or bottle usage as a child, or improper swallowing techniques. The orofacial bones rely on gentle pressure when the mouth is at rest and proper tongue motions when swallowing. In the case of an OMD, certain orofacial muscles become weak, and the dental arch and jawbones may not develop to their full potential. As a result, teeth may erupt crooked or gapped.
Best Ways to Fix Gapped Teeth
If you have gapped teeth, you may qualify for treatment. However, the best treatment for your case will depend on your unique smile needs. It is essential to meet with a qualified dentist to determine which treatments are right for you. However, aside from braces, here are two other popular treatments for gapped teeth.
- Dental Bonding – Using a pliable composite, the dentist bonds the material directly onto your teeth, shaping it to blend with the rest of your tooth structure. The composite matches your teeth for seamless results. Once cured using a special light, the material is buffed and polished to provide a natural look like dental enamel.
- Veneers – Another option for repairing gapped teeth is porcelain veneers. These thin shells permanently affix to your teeth and can be selected in a shade that blends with your other teeth or in a whiter shade if you want an overall brighter smile. Porcelain veneers tend to last longer than dental bonding, although they are more expensive. Therefore, discuss the pros and cons of each procedure to determine which one is right for you.
Cosmetic Dentists in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz
At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we provide uncompromising care with exceptional results. We are committed to helping you achieve a functional yet confident smile, and we offer treatments to help fix gapped teeth. To find out which treatment is right for you or to schedule your consultation, please contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry by calling (831) 438-4411 or visit our website today.