There are a number of reasons why you may have gaps in your teeth. Teeth may be missing either because they have never grown through or have been lost due to damage or decay. Your teeth may be too small or you may have too much room in your mouth for your teeth. Or your teeth may have become more spaced with age due to tooth wear or gum disease.
Those who do not have enough teeth or too much space can benefit from having the spaces closed with braces, and this certainly improves the appearance of the smile. If teeth are missing at the front, it may be that they can be replaced with bridges or implants, however you may still need to have the space increased slightly for this to work and so your dentist may recommend a course of orthodontic treatment first. If your teeth are too small, braces may be needed get the teeth in the best position so your dentist can build them up to a normal size and improve the appearance.
Many patients seek orthodontic treatment later in life as they have become more aware of gaps appearing between their teeth. It is really important for these patients to have their gum health checked first because this has to be good before any orthodontic correction can be carried out. Sadly, if gums have receded there will still be some gaps between teeth where they meet the gums. In this instance we can reshape teeth a little to fit them together better but there is a limit to how much enamel can be taken away.
My next blog will deal with crooked or overlapping teeth.