If the gaps between your teeth make you self-conscious or have misaligned your teeth, then you are not alone. Many people are in the same situation, and they are wondering what caused the gaps in the first place. The truth is that these gaps have numerous causes, some of which you can prevent while others can be traced back to your habits.
Some of the causes you cannot prevent include:
Mismatch Between the Jawbones and Teeth Sizes
Ideally, your teeth and jawbones should be proportional to prevent gaping, but this is not always the case. Gaps occur when there is a mismatch, and the jawbones are too big or the teeth are too small.
You can also have a gap between your teeth if you are born with one or two missing teeth. In this case, the adjacent teeth on both sides of the gap may not grow big enough to close it.
Oversized Labia Frenum
The labia frenum is the oral tissue that extends from the inside of your upper lip to the gum above your upper incisors. In some cases, this tissue grows big to an extent that it starts to push its way between your upper front teeth. When this happens, it pushes the teeth apart and causes a gap.
Apart from these natural causes of teeth gaps, there are other causes that may be due to your personal habits. Examples of these habits, which you can prevent, include:
Thumb sucking may look innocent enough, but it isn't. When a child sucks his or her thumbs, the action pulls the front teeth outwards and creates a gap between the teeth. In mild cases, the gap may close up when the child stops the thumb sucking habit. In extreme cases, however, the gap becomes permanent.
Poor Oral Hygiene
It seems as if poor oral hygiene is connected to all (or almost all) dental issues. In this case, it is a factor because it can lead to periodontal disease. The gaps occur when the disease erodes some of your teeth enamel. Apart from that, it eats into your jawbone, loosens some of the teeth and gaps ensue.
Incorrect Swallowing Reflex
Did you know that the way you swallow food or drinks can also cause a gap between your teeth? In normal circumstances, your tongue pushes against the roof of your mouth when you swallow. Some people, however, push their tongues against their front teeth. If you do this and make a habit out of it, then the regular pressure will push your front teeth outwards and create some spaces between them.
Your cosmetic dentist has several aces up his or her sleeve as far as treatment for gapped teeth is concerned. Some of the options commonly used in cosmetic dentistry include the use of veneers, plates and braces.