Is That Gap In Your Tooth an Oral Health Threat?

Mar 15, 2024
Is That Gap In Your Tooth an Oral Health Threat?
Curious about the gap in your smile and if it’s something to be concerned about? Discover the truth behind your tooth gap in our latest blog! 

When it comes to your smile, it can seem like there’s always something to worry about and fix. From achieving straighter teeth to a brighter, more radiant smile, the options can be overwhelming! And then there are tooth gaps — some wear them proudly, but for others, they're a source of concern. So, how do you know if it’s an oral threat worth addressing? 

Don’t worry. At Kew Gardens Dental P.C., in the Kew Gardens neighborhood in Queens, New York, Bella Pinkatz, DDS, and our dedicated team are here to ease your worries and help you learn everything you need to know about tooth gaps and if you need treatment.

So, let’s delve into this common dental phenomenon and separate fact from fiction. 

What causes tooth gaps? 

Let’s start with the basics. Where do these gaps in between your teeth come from? Also known as diastemas, tooth gaps occur for many reasons. By understanding the lead cause of your gap, you’ll be one step closer to determining if it poses a threat to your oral health. Here are some causes to consider: 


Much like other prominent physical features, some people are genetically predisposed to having gaps between their teeth. 

Missing teeth 

Tooth gaps can also result from missing teeth. The loss of a tooth can cause your neighboring teeth to shift and create spaces that lead to gaps over time. 

Gum disease 

Advanced gum disease has many symptoms and one of the leading ones is tooth loss. This can eventually create gaps in your dental arch. 

Thumb sucking 

If you persistently sucked your thumb as a child, the repeated action could have affected your tooth alignment and led to tooth gaps. 

Is a tooth gap harmful? 

While a small gap between your teeth may not necessarily indicate a problem, it’s essential to consider certain consequences as they can eventually worsen and impact your overall oral health or quality of life. Consider the following: 

Food impaction 

Unfortunately, spaces between your teeth can make for great hiding spots for trapped food particles. Over time, this gradual buildup can turn into plaque and increase your risk of cavities and gum disease. 

Misalignment issues 

If your tooth gap is disrupting your smile’s proper dental alignment, this can affect your bite function and potentially cause jaw pain or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Dr. Pinkatz can help identify if this is the case for you and offer personalized treatment options for long-lasting relief. 

Speech difficulties

If you’re struggling with certain sounds like “s” or “th” in your speech, it could be because your tooth gap is affecting speech clarity. 

Treatment option for tooth gaps 

Let’s get to the reassuring part. The good news is that there are various treatment options available for a tooth gap. Consulting with our team is essential along the way so we can take a look at your specific case and preferences. Here are some of the options we may consider: 

Orthodontic treatment

One of the best ways to address tooth gaps is with braces or clear aligners. These solutions can shift your teeth into proper alignment, closing gaps and improving your bite function. 

Dental bonding

If what you want addressed is a minor gap, dental bonding can be a great option. With this procedure, we use tooth-composite resin to effectively fill the space and enhance the overall appearance of your teeth. 

Dental veneers

Porcelain veneers are custom-made shells that cover the front surface of your teeth. This can provide a cosmetic solution to closing any gaps. 

Dental implants or bridges 

If your tooth gap was caused by a missing tooth, dental implants or bridges are the way to go. These can replace the lost tooth to restore both the function and aesthetics of your smile. 

Ultimately, whether you choose to address your tooth gap or not, you have plenty of options to achieve the smile of your dreams and avoid oral health challenges in the future. Regardless of the outcome, the most important thing is that you prioritize your well-being and seek professional guidance along the way. 

To learn more about tooth gaps and your options, call the office at 518-757-0854 or request an appointment online.