Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
Gapped teeth are common, but that doesn’t mean it makes you feel good about your smile if you have unevenly spaced teeth. Several factors impact how teeth align. Maybe your teeth have been gapped since you were or kid or you are an adult that now is dealing with orthodontic relapse as your teeth drift apart. Today on the blog, cosmetic dentist in Royal Oak, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, is sharing three causes of gapped teeth and how it can be fixed.
Teeth like their neighbors. If you have a tooth extracted, even a back tooth that no one would notice, eventually, your other teeth begin drifting, resulting in gaps. It can take years for teeth to shift in this manner, although it is best to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible. Dr. Hartrick offers tooth replacement options such as partial dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants to restore your smile and replace missing teeth. To find out the best tooth replacement option for you, contact Hartrick Dentistry today.
Untreated Tongue- or Lip-Tie
Also referred to as restricted frenum, this thin string of tissue attaches the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, as well as the upper lip to the gums along the boney ridge of the upper dental arch. You’re either born with a tongue- or lip-tie or you’re not. It isn’t something that develops over time or later in life. Restricted frenums often are discovered during infancy, especially when a nursing mother struggles to nurse or get her baby to latch properly. Unfortunately, tongue- and lip-ties go undiagnosed for years, which may result in negative oral habits or orofacial myofunctional disorders that impact how teeth emerge and align. Often, a lip-tie may cause gapped teeth because the frenum prevents the two front teeth from aligning. A simple remedy to this problem is a frenectomy, which can be done by a dentist in Royal Oak that offers laser dentistry. For children and adults who undergo this procedure, a course of myofunctional therapy usually is recommended to retrain the tongue, mouth, and lips to function properly and to correct oral posture. Myofunctional therapy can help adults reverse years of poor oral resting posture, reverse swallowing habits, and mouth breathing.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
This likely is something you have not heard of, but orofacial myofunctional disorders include prolonged thumb or digit sucking, mouth breathing, tongue thrust, and improper swallowing patterns. Many times, these disorders develop at a young age. Unfortunately, if they aren’t corrected, lead to dental health problems, temporomandibular joint disorder, sleep apnea, and an unattractive facial profile. Gaps between teeth also may form as a result of improper rest oral posture or swallowing patterns. Even if a child grows up and undergoes orthodontic treatment, they likely experience a relapse, which means that after getting their braces off, their teeth shift out of alignment again, or gaps reappear.
Get Gapped Teeth Fixed in Royal Oak
If you are an adult with gapped teeth or your child has gapped teeth, we recommend a consultation with Dr. Nancy Hartrick. During this evaluation, Dr. Hartrick determines the cause behind unwanted gaps between your teeth and will present solutions to help you feel more confident about your smile. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please call (248) 549-0950. Hartrick Dentistry provides oral care to Birmingham and Royal Oak.