There are two kinds of gaps that may be visible when you smile. The natural gap is one you were born to have and the unnatural gap is created when you lose a tooth. Both gaps can be corrected. It is of interest that many people choose not to close the natural gap. There are many reasons behind this choice. Some natural gaps cause physical dental problems and need to be addressed. The unnatural gap, however, can cause a cascade of dental problems if it is not addressed.
Beauty, Culture and Choice
There are a multitude of celebrities with gaps in their teeth. Among them, super pop star Madonna, actor Elijah Wood and comedian Eddie Murphy. The list of celebrities with a natural gap in their teeth is long. In some cultures, a gap is seen as a sign of beauty and intelligence. Uzo Aduba grew to cherish her gap when her mother told her how it was connected to family history. Not all gaps are cherished, nor should they be revered.
The Ill Effects of Tooth Loss
While the natural gap can be a source of beauty, or a sign of character or individualism, the gap caused by a missing tooth can be a source of mounting dental problems. The surrounding teeth are affected in many ways. Opposing teeth on the top or bottom of the space can also be affected.
When a tooth is lost, the adjacent teeth may lean into the empty space. They may also twist out of alignment. As remaining teeth move to compensate for the missing tooth, your bite can change. These differences in position can cause food traps to develop. Certain areas may become more difficult to clean. This can lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar.
Unless these areas are cleaned professionally, gingivitis may develop as harmful bacteria accumulates. The gums become puffy and bright pink or red, and they may bleed when you brush or floss. Continued neglect leads to periodontal disease which, in a worst-case scenario, causes teeth to become loose and fall out.
Vulnerable areas created by missing teeth can also increase the opportunity for cavities to develop. Tooth grinding and sensitivity are other side effects of the unnatural gap. Misalignment, sensitivity and exposed gums can make effective chewing difficult. The good news is, these problems can be avoided.
Closing the Unnatural Gap
There are different ways to close the gap caused by missing teeth. Dental bridges, partial dentures and dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. The method of choice depends on several factors. After a thorough examination and evaluation, your dentist will discuss options and make a recommendation.
Replacing missing teeth not only restores your beautiful smile, it is a major component of optimal oral health. At Helm Nejad Stanley Dentistry, we practice biomimetic dentistry. This is a more in-depth, natural way to restore teeth and create oral health. Contact us today and schedule an appointment to restore your healthy smile.