Madonna, Eddie Murphy and Omar Sharif sport big gaps in their teeth giving them a distinctive, unique look.
Are gaps for everyone? True, gaps between the front teeth may look cool on a few but for most people they are a source of concern and embarrassment.
Gaps can occur anywhere in the mouth but they are most visible in the front teeth.
What causes tooth gaps?
Tooth gaps can occur if the jaws are too wide and the teeth size too small. This is usually a hereditary factor. Habits like nail or lip biting, or pressing against the teeth can cause spaces to open up. Missing teeth even in the back of the mouth can lead to gaps because of the tendency of the remaining teeth to shift.
A small muscle attachment under the lip connected to the gums between teeth called the frenum can create a pull causing the teeth to spread apart. This can be corrected by a simple laser procedure.
Apart from the appearance, gaps can affect speech. A lisp, and difficulty in pronouncing certain words can also be a problem. Food also accumulates in these gaps and they need to be frequently cleaned out.
Gaps often close spontaneously at a young age when all the permanent teeth finally erupt into the jaw especially the canine teeth. This may need to be done in conjunction with orthodontic appliances. Thus braces are also the answer to correct habits and guide the teeth into their proper position.
Small gaps, otherwise untreatable, can be closed with tooth coloured composite resin which is attached by a bonding procedure to the tooth.
Till gaps become a fashion statement, we will have to deal with the everyday problems and esthetic challenges of a gap between the front teeth. Your smile will then light up your face and up your style quotient…