Widespread teeth or a smile with gaps can be problematic for many reasons. Taylor Swift may “love the gaps between your teeth and the riddles that you speak,” but she might not like them so much if she knew the health risks. Gaps in teeth may be hereditary or caused by oral hygiene habits. Consistently thrusting your tongue between your teeth can lead to gaps. Teeth movement can also be a result of grinding teeth. Gaps can also be due to a larger than average jaw, teeth will try to spread out and cover the area. You may also just be missing a tooth or two and left with a large gap.
No matter their cause, they can look unseemly, leading to self-confidence and self-esteem issues. Looks aside, gaps in teeth can lead to other issues such as oral diseases. Some of these issues include:
- Gingivitis and Periodontitis—these gum diseases are more likely to occur in a mouth with teeth gaps. Food tends to get caught in those gaps, leaving bacteria to grow and cause decay to your gums. It seems like flossing would be easier with large gums, but it’s just the opposite. When flossing with large gaps, you must be very careful not to scrape your gums. Both teeth and gums can be weakened by disease leading to gingivitis, periodontitis, and cavities.
- Heart Disease—when oral diseases are not dealt with, they can lead to bigger issues. Infection in the mouth can get into your bloodstream and eventually reach other organs, leading to bigger issues such as heart disease.
- Misaligned Bite—gaps in teeth can lead to a misaligned bite. This can cause teeth to move further out of place and shift regularly, leading to pain. This could lead to pain in the forehead, ear, or jaw. Chewing may become painful and teeth may be more sensitive.
- Chewing Problems—with misaligned teeth or large gaps, your bite can become more forceful which can lead to chipped teeth. Chewing is also difficult, leading to swallowing big chunks of food, which can lead to digestive issues.
- Bad Breath—because gaps in teeth provide a breeding ground for plaque and bacteria, it can often lead to bad breath due to bacteria growth. It can also cause yellowing teeth.
- Bleeding Gums—gums may become more sensitive as they are more exposed. Gaps in teeth may lead to excessive bleeding and pain in the gums during everyday activities such as chewing and flossing.
If you have gaps in your teeth that you’d like to take care of, come see us at Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah. There are many options to move teeth, fill in gaps, or replace missing teeth to make your smile whole again.