What Causes Gaps in Teeth? – Definition, Symptoms, & Treatments

People with gap in teeth may worry about how they look when they smile and lose confidence, which can hurt their life. People worry that they won’t be taken seriously, especially in a professional setting, which could hurt their image or make them look bad. 

If a person has spaces between their teeth, they are likely to think they don’t look good. Aside from that, having a diastema makes you more likely to get cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and a buildup of bacteria that can cause tartar or plaque. This isn’t the only bad thing about having spaces between your Gap in Teeth.

What is Diastema?

A diastema is a space between two teeth that should touch. Some people have them between their middle teeth on the top arch, while others have them in less obvious places, like further back in the jaw.

It could be something you were born with or something you did as a child, like sucking your thumb, that pushed your teeth apart.

Who Does Diastema Affect?

Both kids and adults can get diastema. Children are more likely to have this problem, and when their permanent (adult) teeth come in, the spaces between their Gap in Teeth may close.

Some groups are more likely to have midline diastema, which is a space between the two upper front teeth. For example, people of African descent are more likely to have diastema than white people or Asian people.

What Causes Gaps Between in Teeth?

There are many reasons why someone might lose a tooth. Some people’s teeth are missing. Most of the time, kids who bite their thumbs or push their tongues in front of their teeth do this. They can also get a gap in teeth by sucking their tongue against their teeth. A child who takes a pacifier and suckers on his or her thumb may get diastema, which can be bad for his or her teeth in the long run. Even if your baby’s teeth are healthy, there may be a gap. It could happen if you don’t have them.

If the labial frenum grows between two incisors, it may break off and leave a space. Between the top lip and the gums is this little flap. The labial frenum needs to be big enough to make more space. If the gum tissue falls below where it should be and between the middle teeth, it will help keep gaps from closing. When teeth that are too small for their space grow, they can leave a space. Gaps between teeth can be caused by many things, including the way you take care of your teeth.

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What Are the Risks of Gaps Between Teeth?

Having gaps in teeth you can make feel less confident and less happy with your smile. Gaps are more than just an aesthetic problem, though. If you don’t fix spaces between your teeth, they can keep getting bigger until you have problems, like a bad bite. If your teeth aren’t in the right place, you could chip or crack them when you chew or close your mouth.

Having spaces between your teeth also makes you more likely to get an infection in your mouth. Food can get stuck in the spaces between teeth, which makes it easy for bacteria to grow and spread. When bacteria on the gums and teeth work faster, it can lead to sensitive gums, cavities, and bad breath.

In the worst cases, having gap in teeth can be bad for your health as a whole. Through the teeth and gums, bacteria can get into the bloodstream and attack the rest of the body. People with bad oral health and frequent mouth infections are more likely to get heart disease and hurt other organs.

What Are Diastema Symptoms?

Diastema is easy to see in the mirror. Open wide and look for a space that’s at least 0.5 mm wide.

These can be some of the other signs:

  • Spitting: When you talk or swallow, you may spit between your teeth.
  • Trapped food: Small things can get stuck between your teeth.
  • Pain while eating: If you have gaps in your teeth, sharp foods like chips could poke you in the gums.

Treatment for Gap in Teeth

People with spaces between their teeth may benefit from treatment if it stops damage or boosts their self-esteem.

Most of the time, these gaps can be left alone if they don’t bother anyone or cause any problems. Talk to a professional about your oral health. They can help you figure out what’s wrong and what to do about it. You may be sent to an orthodontist, who is a dentist who has done extra training to become an expert in diagnosing, preventing, and treating problems with the way teeth and jaws fit together.

For more complicated cases, you may also be sent to a prosthodontist, who is a dentist with extra training in fixing teeth, or an oral maxillofacial surgeon, who is trained in surgery of the teeth, bone, jaw, and face.

Some possible treatments are:

Composite Fillings 

A tooth-colored material that can be added to a tooth with a bonding agent and is often used to fill holes.


a covering for a tooth made of porcelain or composite. If the gap is small, it could be covered with veneers that are just a little bit wider than the natural teeth. Veneers are always stuck to the front of the tooth.

Tooth Bonding

With composite, it is possible to close a diastema in less than an hour. Your dentist will choose a bonding material made of composite resin that looks like your real teeth. He will then carefully shape it to fill in the space between the teeth. Your teeth will look like they did when they were first put together after the gap filling or front tooth filling.


Permanent tooth coverings made of porcelain, metal, or both. They are used to cover, protect, fix, and improve the shape and function of your teeth.


Bridges are a permanent way to replace one or more missing teeth. They are made of a few crowns and fake teeth that are joined together. A metal screw that is put into the jawbone to hold a crown, bridge, or denture in place.


The labial frenum, which is made up of the tissues that connect the upper lip to the gums, can sometimes get bigger and spread between the front teeth. This can lead to spaces between teeth or problems with the frenum. If this is the case, your doctor will have to do a frenectomy to cut off the frenum. With this treatment, the labial frenum will get smaller by getting smaller. After that, an orthodontic procedure must be done to fill in the space and make it look better.

Oral Surgery

In severe cases, buried teeth may need surgery to be taken out or made easier to come out. Surgery can also help when there is a problem with the jaws or to make orthodontic treatment work better.

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Invisalign and Gap in Teeth

Invisalign may be the best way to fix small or medium gaps between teeth. And,invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to move and straighten teeth by making sure bites are in the right place. People often choose Invisalign over braces because it is less obvious and can be taken off, which makes it easier to clean teeth.

But Invisalign is not always the best way to treat all orthodontic problems. Dr. Redford will give a patient a full exam and evaluation to decide if Invisalign is the best way to treat them.

Some families also think about how much Invisalign costs, which can sometimes be more than braces. But, depending on the patient’s insurance and the kind of orthodontic treatment they need, Invisalign can be a cheap option for many.

Can a Gap in Teeth Close Itself?

The spaces between your child’s teeth are common and normal. Sometimes, a gap between teeth can’t close on its own. When your child’s teeth start to come in, the labial frenum, which is a small piece of tissue that connects the upper lip to the gum, may be too close to the gum and make a gap. As your child’s mouth gets bigger, the labial frenum may get shorter on its own, closing the gap.

When adult teeth come in, it may even be possible to fix a tooth gap. As your child’s permanent teeth come in, it’s likely that his or her teeth and jaw will grow into place and fill in the gaps.

What Kinds of Problems Can Gap in Teeth Cause?

Having missing teeth can cause a lot of different problems. They can make you feel bad about yourself and cause problems with your bite, alignment, dental health, and oral hygiene.

A lot of people with gaps in their teeth have low self-esteem. They don’t like the way their smile looks, so they don’t show it to anyone. Gapped teeth can also make the mouth smaller, which can lead to overbites, underbites, and alignment issues.

When there are spaces between teeth, the gums are also more likely to get hurt. If you have gaps between your teeth, food can get stuck between the teeth and gums. It can make gums sore and sensitive, and it can even cause gum disease.

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When Should I See My Dentist?

If the space between your teeth bothers you, you should talk to your dentist about it. They can talk to you in depth about your treatment options.

In general, you should go to the dentist at least once every six months for regular cleanings and exams.

Most of the time, you don’t need to worry about a diastema. It has no effect on your oral health or how your teeth work. In fact, in many places around the world, a gap between your teeth is seen as a sign of beauty. But if you’d rather close the gap, cosmetic dental treatments can help you get the healthy, beautiful smile you want that will last.


A gap between the teeth is called a diastema. A diastema can be caused by a number of things, like gum disease or the way the size of the teeth compares to the size of the jawbone. A dentist can find out what’s going on.

In many cases, people don’t need to be treated. Some people decide to get treatment anyway because they want to look better. A diastema can be fixed in many ways, and the results are usually permanent.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gap in Teeth

What is Gap Teeth? 

A space or gap between two or more teeth is called a “gap tooth.”

What causes gaps in your teeth?

Most of the time, a child’s thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, which happens a lot, causes spaces between their teeth. They can also get a gap in their teeth by sucking their tongues against their teeth.

Can I fix the gap in my teeth?

This is by far the quickest way to fix a missing tooth. The dentist will use a resin to fill in the gap and a special light to make it look better. The resin is the same color as your teeth, so it will blend right in.

Do gaps in teeth get bigger with age?

If your mouth is healthy, your diastema shouldn’t get bigger as you age. If you notice that the space between your teeth is getting bigger, you may have gum disease.

Can teeth gaps close naturally?

Children often have spaces between their teeth. When kids are young and growing, their jaws get bigger, so gaps can show up as new teeth come in. Small gaps may then close on their own, if they aren’t too big.

Remember that this is not a hard and fast rule. Some gaps may not close on their own, so they need to be fixed with braces.

Can stress cause gaps in teeth?

In short, yes is the answer. Even though it’s not the most common thing that happens when someone is stressed, dental problems are not unheard of.

How much does it cost to fix gap teeth?

Bonding can cost as little as $100-$200 per tooth for small, simple gaps. If the gap is bigger, it can cost between $800 and $1,000 per tooth to close it.

Why is my tooth gap getting bigger?

The space between teeth can sometimes get bigger. Most of the time, this is caused by a habit called “tongue thrust.” This happens when a person’s tongue naturally pushes against their front teeth instead of the roof of their mouth when they swallow.

Are gap in teeth abnormal?

A gap between the teeth is called a diastema. It is not dangerous, and both children and adults can have it. When a child’s permanent teeth come in, the gap usually gets filled in.

Is a diastema normal?

Yes. Diastema is common, and most health care professionals see it as a normal variation of how teeth grow and develop.

How does diastema affect my oral health?

Most of the time, diastema shouldn’t be a problem for your mouth’s health. But if the space between your teeth is caused by gum disease, you may need treatment for gum disease.

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