A common problem we provide correction for at Dr. Cynthia Wong’s orthodontic office in Orland Park is a gap between the top front teeth. Gaps are scientifically known as diastemas, and we want our patients to understand what causes them so they’ll better understand their treatment options.
One common cause is tongue thrusting. This can be a habit or something people do because they are unable to swallow properly. Either way, the pressure on the front teeth pushes them outward and apart, which can also cause an overbite. There are orthodontic devices which can discourage tongue thrusting which are usually used in conjunction with psychological therapy.
Gap teeth can also be caused by a large labial frenum. This means that the tissue that connects the inside of the upper lip to the gum is too large and is keeping the teeth apart. Fixing this requires reductive surgery to the labial frenum before orthodontic work can begin.
Most often, gap teeth are simply the result of the teeth being too small for the jaw. The older a person is, the more likely it is they will require braces or invisible aligners to fix this.