A gap between your front teeth can be charming or a real problem. Having a space in such a visible place can make you self-conscious especially when you smile. If the gap is large enough, your teeth may become poorly aligned. This can result in problems with your bite, tooth problems, and pain. Is you think gap in your front teeth is charming, then keep it that way. If you are concerned about it, it helps to know the causes as well as the options you have to close the gaps.
Causes of Gap in Front Teeth
In Children’s Teeth
Gaps may be absolutely normal in children as their mouths outgrow their baby teeth. Typically, these gaps will close as the “adult” teeth grow in and fill the space. Parents should not be alarmed by dental gaps as a child develops a full set of adult teeth.
In Adult Teeth
Gaps between teeth in adults are called diastemas and may simply be a result of having too much space in the jaw for the size of the teeth. Usually, these spaces are most noticeable when they are between the two upper front teeth, but they can appear between any two teeth. Normally, these spaces are not a cause for alarm, but they should be evaluated by a dentist to ensure that your bite has not been affected.
Occasionally, gaps between the front teeth are caused by self-inflicted habitual behaviors. For example, when a small gap exists, some people may push their tongues against the front teeth which can result in an even wider gap. If your tongue pushes hard against your front teeth, this can aggravate the problem and make the space between your teeth wider.
More Serious Conditions
Of course, there are also rare but serious conditions that must be identified and treated by your dental care provider.
- A tumor in your mouth or the bones of your jaw may cause gaps between your teeth. If you notice any abnormal growths in your mouth, see your dentist immediately.
- Much more common than tumors, gum disease can cause gaps between your teeth. Gum disease leads to bone loss in the jaw. As the bone deteriorates, your teeth will begin to move. Again, this condition must be treated by a dentist.
Ways to Close Gap in Front Teeth and Their Costs
If you decide you want to close the gap between your teeth, or if your dentist recommends that it be done for health reasons, there are a number of ways to close the gaps.
1. Teeth Bands
Teeth bands are an affordable way to fix a gap between your teeth. In this solution, dental rubber bands are used around your teeth at night to physically pull them together. The price for this solution can range from $5-40 depending on how many bands you get. Be aware that some dentists will recommend that you NOT use this method except under the direct supervision of a dentist since overcorrection or moving the teeth too fast can create other issues with your gums and bones of the jaw.
Watch a video for teeth bands to close gaps sin front teeth:
2. Dental Bonding or Dental Veneers
Another way to take care of the gap between your teeth is to actually fill the gap with dental material. Dental bonding refers to applying resin to both teeth to physically fill the space. Costs will vary depending on location and extent of the procedure but expect to pay from $300-800 per tooth for bonding.
Dental veneers are porcelain shells that actually fit over your teeth. These typically look very good, but they come at a hefty price – anywhere from $500-1400 per tooth. You should also be aware that since these procedures are typically cosmetic, your dental insurance probably will NOT pay for them.
Watch how dental bonding helps with the gap:
3. Braces and Retainers
Your dentist may be able to build braces or retainers to close the gaps between your teeth. Although orthodontia is typically covered for children, be sure to check your policy if you are an adult since your policy may or may not cover this type of hardware for you. A simple retainer can cost anywhere from $500-2000. Expect braces for up to six teeth to cost $2,000 to $3,000.
The labial frenum is the piece of skin that attaches your upper lip to your upper jaw between the two front teeth. If this piece of skin is enlarged, your dentist may recommend a frenectomy which is a procedure to trim off some of the tissue. Since it is a surgical procedure, it will usually be done by an oral surgeon at a cost between $300-1200.
5. Oral Hygiene
If the gap between your teeth is a result of gum disease, your dentist will probably recommend increased oral hygiene, perhaps some antibiotics for any infection, and deep teeth cleaning every 3-6 months. These treatments will vary in cost and may be the first things your dentist tries before moving forward with other treatments.
Be aware that any of the methods for closing gaps between your teeth should be supervised by a dentist who can anticipate problems and intervene early. If you have gum disease, you must be vigilant about taking care of your teeth and gums so that bone deterioration does not occur. If you elect to have dental bonding or veneers done, you should be aware that these veneers and bonds can break or be dislodged, so you should be careful eating hard or sticky foods.