Have you ever wondered about a gap between the teeth? For awhile, in the 90s, it was considered fashionable, with celebrities like David Letterman becoming known for his, and others like Madonna having a gap created through cosmetic dentistry, because they found it unique and attractive.
The truth is, gaps between the teeth are a dental condition called diastema, and there are treatments to remove them and get your teeth back to their ideal alignment. Learn about diastema, the gap between your teeth, and how an orthodontist in Whistler can help you get your smile in line and gleaming once more.
What Is Diastema?
Diastema is just a technical term for a gap between any of your teeth. Usually, it’s seen between your two upper teeth right in the front, but it can appear anywhere in your mouth. It’s usually caused by a mismatch between your jaw size and your teeth, which creates extra space. The opposite of this phenomenon is tooth crowding, which will cause teeth to overlap.
Other reasons exist as well, however. Losing a tooth or having teeth that are undersized can cause the rest of the teeth to pull apart, leaving gaps. In other cases, gaps can develop from improper swallowing reflexes, from oversized tissue from your upper lip to your gums, thumb sucking, and even gum disease that causes bone loss in the jaw.
Why Is Diastema a Problem?
Diastema becomes a problem when spaces between gaps grow, which can be an indicator of bone loss that can lead to tooth loss. It also creates spaces in which food can become lodged, causing tooth decay if not properly treated. Whether or not your gaps are a problem requiring treatment depend largely upon the severity of the case, and its underlying cause.
How Are Gaps Treated?
Orthodontics are usually used to treat gaps. The use of braces is still a common form of lessening and removing gaps, and restoring the teeth to their proper position. In other cases, more extensive work might be needed. If you have missing teeth, for example, you might need to get replacements, whether in the form of dentures or implants to help keep teeth from moving apart.
Those with periodontal disease sometimes need to have deep cleaning and surgery to address the problem. In these cases, addressing the problem is essential, as gum disease can cause not only tooth loss, but heart disease and infection that can become deadly.
Orthodontist in Whistler: Treating and Preventing Gaps
Not all gaps can be prevented, but the best way to ensure that your smile stays healthy is to engage in a regular routine of brushing and flossing, at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. You should also visit your dentist for regular cleanings and to have any problems addressed.
If you do have a gap between your teeth, an orthodontist in Whistler can help you address the problem and eliminate underlying concerns. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Dental Specialists of Whistler today!