Gappy Teeth

Why are my teeth separating?

This can be due to habits like nail biting, pen chewing or lip sucking in children and teens. In adults, particularly middle aged adults, teeth separating can be a sign of underlying gum disease. Seeing a general dentist first would be recommended. With large overbites, it can be difficult for upper and lower lips to close naturally and often the lower lip can sit behind the upper front teeth, with the side effect of pushing the upper front teeth forward, leading to larger gaps between the front teeth.

Can gappy teeth be fixed?

Yes. There are several options for fixing this. These can range from braces to clear aligner solutions. Occasionally, in kids and early teens when all the adult teeth have not erupted, an upper plate may help to close the gaps.

Can gaps close naturally?

For early to mid teens when the canine teeth erupt, we sometimes can expect the gaps between the upper teeth to close slightly. But beyond this normally the gaps do not close by itself.

Can gappy teeth cause oral health problems?

The risk of gappy teeth affecting your oral health depends on the size of the gap and how effectively you can clean in between your teeth. Gaps in teeth can make it easier for food debris and consequently plaque and bacteria to build up in that space and can lead to cavities or gum problems, particularly if not cleaned well. The best way to make sure that gaps in your teeth aren’t putting your oral health at risk is to ask your Orthodontist.

Gaps in upper teeth may also be due to large overbites where the lower lip sits behind the upper teeth. This can have the side effect of pushing the upper front teeth further forwards.  

Gaps in teeth can also make it difficult to articulate certain phrase ie: the “Th” and “S” sounds, and can make succesful speech exercises more challenging.

Is it normal to have gaps between teeth?

Gaps between teeth are usually not normally seen. Sometimes it may be that several teeth are narrower and/or smaller in size. What is more important is if there is any worsening of these gaps overtime. If you’re an adult or child looking to have these gaps closed, the first step is to schedule a consultation with an Orthodontist who can then diagnose what are the causes of these gaps and discuss the most effective ways for you to achieve your new smile.

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