Gaps in teeth, officially called Diastema, is a condition where the space between two or more teeth grows larger than it should be.
Diastema can be caused by several factors such as mismatched jaw size, finger-sucking habits during childhood, genetics, gum disease, new teeth, or misalignment that results when the roots of the front teeth are not straight. Other causes may include oral hygiene issues and overcrowding of teeth due to insufficient jaw size.
Diastema may also develop if the large labial frenum tissues – comprising the upper lip – cover the front teeth too much.
Whatever the cause may be, discovering ways to close gaps in teeth is important since they might lead to further problems with speech, irregular food packing, and accumulation of plaque.
Can a Gap Close Naturally?
Gaps in-between teeth can often close naturally over time depending on the cause and severity. Through the development of adult teeth or orthodontic treatment, a gap between the front two teeth often closes with minimal intervention.
Orthodontists or dentists can assess the condition of Diastema to identify the best possible solution for an individual’s case to encourage the natural closure of Diastema gaps.
It is important to note that Diastema does not always close naturally if left unaddressed over time. For this reason, Diastema should be monitored regularly and early intervention is recommended in cases where Diastema persists after one year of age.
How to Reduce the Gap in Teeth
Using braces is an effective way to reduce diastema. Braces work by slowly realigning both upper and lower teeth over time to close unwanted gaps.
Orthodontists may also need to apply extra pressure on specific teeth or adjust their position with additional devices such as elastics or bands.
The length of time required for braces to successfully reduce diastema varies depending on the severity of the gap and the individual’s oral health, so it’s important to consult with a professional orthodontist for the best results.
Using veneers can be an effective way to reduce a gap in teeth.
The procedure begins with a mold being taken of your mouth and impressions submitted to a lab for the custom creation of veneers. Once the veneers are prepared, they are tested for fit and adjusted if necessary, then bonded onto the front surface of your natural teeth. This gives the appearance that all the teeth have grown together, reducing the gap caused by a diastema.
Dental bonding is a quick and effective way to reduce diastema. Not only does this method help reduce diastema, but it also strengthens the tooth enamel.
During the process, a tooth-colored composite resin is applied over the afflicted teeth, creating a smooth uniform surface that helps close any gaps between them. The resin is hardened with a curing light, allowing it to be shaped as needed for an optimal result. After that, polishing is needed for a naturally-glossy look.
Related post: How to treat diastema.
Aligners are clear, removable trays that are worn over the teeth and gradually straighten with consistent wear. Properly fitting aligners are essential to reduce diastema since any existing gaps could cause them to not fully cover the affected teeth, leading to an inadequate result.
People often prefer aligners to traditional braces because they look more attractive and are also less noticeable than traditional braces. Additionally, aligners don’t require frequent dentist visits as brackets and wires do.
Invisible aligners are the perfect choice for people that want a comfortable and affordable solution to tooth repair as they are discreet when worn, are affordable, and offer very efficient results.
See our article: Invisible Braces for Gap Teeth.
See some reviews of the best invisible aligners available here:
Byte Review – The top pick, this aligner is affordable and comes with a free HyperBite and teeth whitening kit. This product also has a lifetime guarantee.
NewSmile Review – A low-cost option with premium aesthetics this product comes with a free retainer and teeth whitening kit.
SmileDirectClub Review – The most popular choice with a lifetime guarantee and free one-time replacement. This product also offers the best 3D scanning for accurate results.
Candid Review – Similar to Invisalign aligners with very positive reviews.
ALIGNERCO – The lowest price and a zero deposit monthly payment plan. A Seasonal discount rate of $945 is also offered.
A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure aimed at reducing the gap between two teeth. An article on webMD.com stated that the labial frenum is a thin piece of tissue connecting the upper lip and upper gums. In some people, this tissue grows incorrectly causing teeth to separate.
The procedure works by removing the tissue that connects the lip to the gums, allowing for increased mobility of the front teeth and closure of any existing gaps.
For people distressed by diastema, a frenectomy can have a tremendous impact on their confidence and self-esteem.
Experienced oral surgeons will typically conduct this relatively simple procedure under local anesthesia with very minimal downtime; depending on each patient’s circumstance, healing time ranges from several days to several weeks.
See our article: Invisalign With Missing Tooth.
Implant-supported dental bridges can easily and quickly close large spaces between the teeth, giving a much more natural look than traditional dentures and crowns.
Although treatment with implants requires more capital investment compared to other methods of reduction, the results are often longer-lasting and superior.
Furthermore, these treatments also require minimal maintenance once they have been installed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Will It Take to Close a 6mm Gap in Teeth with Braces?
With steady alignment, it will usually take around 8 to 18 months depending on individual factors including the severity of misalignment, age, oral habits, and genetics.
During the treatment, there will be regular dental appointments where the wires or brackets will be adjusted to ensure your teeth remain on track throughout the treatment period.
How Long Will It Take to Close a 5mm Gap with Braces?
The normal range for a 5mm gap is between 6-8 months using braces but is relative to several factors based on an individual’s dental history.
Does a Gap in Teeth Get Bigger with Age?
Teeth are constantly growing and moving and although this is less noticeable in older age it does mean that gaps in teeth can get bigger as age increases, but it can also mean they get smaller too.
Can I Leave a Gap in Teeth Untreated?
Leaving a gap in your teeth untreated may cause further complications down the line, as well as affect your confidence and self-esteem.
If not treated, bacteria can enter the opening and can lead to gum disease or other dental issues.
Can a Gap in Teeth Close by Itself?
Teeth can come together naturally, particularly in children as adult teeth grow and close any gaps. If the gap is over 2mm it is less likely to self-close and treatment may be needed.