A diastema is a space or gap between your teeth. Some people have no aesthetic or health problems as a result of gaps between their teeth. For others, issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and social isolation are motivation to seek treatment. Here are three benefits of fixing teeth gaps.
Minimized Tooth Decay
Fixing gaps in between teeth can minimize your exposure to tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel—the hard, outer layer of your teeth.
A fine film called plaque covers the teeth. Plaque contains bacteria. When you ingest food and drinks containing sugar, the bacteria in plaque creates acid. This acid then damages the teeth, causing decay. The American Dental Association recommends that you clean the gaps between your teeth daily in order to minimize this decay.
Sometimes, spaces in your teeth might appear as black, triangular gaps. These gaps are known to create troublesome traps where food and plaque can accumulate. But a number of treatment and management options exist for these gaps, and cosmetic options like veneers can reduce food accumulation in gaps and thereby help prevent decay.
Gum Disease Prevention
“It’s possible for food and plaque to get trapped in small gaps between teeth and cause irritation,” Paul Springs, DMD, a prosthodontist at Dr. Mondshine and Associates tells WedMD Connect to Care.
The same bacteria resulting from food and plaque deposits that causes tooth decay can also cause gum disease. The initial stage of gum disease is gingivitis, while its more advanced form is periodontitis.
Once gum disease has reached the periodontitis stage, gaps between teeth can even widen and become infected, due to the destruction of the teeth’s supportive tissues and bones.
But closing gaps between teeth to prevent food and plaque accumulation, along with proper daily oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, can help minimize this disease process and help maintain your dental health.
Improved Social Interaction
Some people embrace the gaps in between their teeth. Others are displeased with the gaps between their teeth, which can cause feelings of anxiety in social settings or avoidance of social interaction all together.
“Many people are often self-conscious about having gapped teeth,” Yvonne King, BDSc, MSc, a cosmetic dentist at the Melbourne Institute of Aesthetic Dentistry tells WebMD Connect to Care. However, “closing the gaps in your teeth can drastically improve your confidence and even health,” King adds.
There are many solutions for gapped teeth. Braces and invisible dental aligners can move your teeth to close gaps, while cosmetic options can augment or reshape the teeth and thereby eliminate gaps. Your dentist or orthodontist can recommend the best treatment option for you.
Start your journey to a more confident smile today!
Straightening your teeth can be easy and affordable. Find out how to get started today. WebMD Connect to Care Advisors are standing by to help.