What Causes a Tooth Gap in Children?

Seeing a tooth gap appear when your baby’s teeth are growing in is certainly cute, but you may wonder why it is happening. No worries, a tooth gap is not a threat to your child’s smile and can easily be treated with the help of your pediatric dentist.

There are a variety of reasons that may be the cause of your child’s tooth gap. It could be due to a simple misalignment that causes crowding. In some cases,  children’s teeth may be too small for the jawbone, or there may be extra or missing teeth.

A tooth gap may also be caused by tongue-thrusting, also called a reverse swallow, which pushes the tongue against the back of the front teeth. Thumb-sucking may also cause a gap between teeth due to the pressure thumb-sucking puts on the front teeth. Lip ties or tongue ties may also cause a gap.

Can a Tooth Gap Close Itself?

Gaps in your child’s teeth are normal and happen often. In some cases, a tooth gap can close itself. When your child’s teeth begin coming in, the labial frenum, the small piece of tissue connecting their upper lip to the gum, may be attached too tightly and cause a gap to appear. As your child’s mouth grows, their labial frenum may shorten naturally and the gap can resolve itself.

A tooth gap may even be resolved once adult teeth come in. It is likely that your child’s teeth and jaw will grow into place and close the gaps as permanent teeth erupt.

Issues with Gapped Teeth

Although gaps are common, excessive gaps may be a sign of a dental issue. Large gaps or excessive gaps may be a sign of missing teeth or extra teeth that are not leaving room for all teeth to erupt.

Gapped teeth are also a symptom of a lip tie. An oversized labial frenum can push the front teeth apart, causing a large gap. Lip ties can also cause eating and speech issues, so check with your child’s pediatric dentist if you believe your child may have a lip tie.

Lastly, a gap in your child’s teeth may affect their confidence. At Dentistry for Children Maryland, our expert dentists are here to help your child feel comfortable and confident in their smile, and we’ll work with you to make sure your child gets the smile of their dreams.

Treatment for Gapped Teeth

For gapped teeth, treatment options vary and are designed to fit your child’s needs. Our dentists are trained to make sure your child is receiving the right treatment to help their smile grow and develop.

If your child is diagnosed with a lip tie, your pediatric dentist may recommend a frenectomy. A frenectomy is a simple procedure that releases tissue connecting the upper lip to the gums. This can help your child’s gap resolve itself without orthodontic treatment.

Fixing gaps is easy with orthodontic treatment once your child’s permanent teeth are in. Your pediatric dentist may recommend your child for an orthodontic consultation, where they will discuss braces options, as well as fixed appliances, like expanders, and develop a treatment plan for your child.

Dentists can also resolve gaps by utilizing dental bonding, dental implants, or porcelain veneers. These cosmetic dentistry options can close the gaps through quick and easy procedures done right in your dentist’s office.

Contact Us for Any Additional Questions

Schedule an appointment with Dentistry for Children Maryland today and experienced children’s dentistry at its finest! Our dentists are here for all your pediatric dental care needs.

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