Problems Associated With Gappy Teeth

Dentist Mike Allen looks at issues that can be caused by unevenly spaced teeth, along with possible solutions

If we have looked after our teeth well, with regular brushing, flossing and dental appointments, there is a good chance that they will be fairly healthy. This is the most important thing of course, but our teeth also play an important role in our appearance, especially when we smile. Healthy teeth are great, but if they are discoloured or are uneven, they can really detract from an otherwise nice smile.

We discussed tooth discolouration in our previous Burton dental blog and today we are going to take a look at the problems which can result from gaps between the teeth.

There are different types of gaps. There are the larger ones that are caused by tooth loss but also smaller gaps where our teeth have grown unevenly. Some of these, such as a diastema, are argued by some to be an attractive facial feature.

What’s wrong with a gap?

The most obvious issue with a gap in the teeth is that it can look unsightly. Even where some  argue that this isn’t the case, such as with a diastema (a gap between the top two front teeth) the fact is that having uneven teeth can lead to problems further down the line. If there are gaps between some of our teeth, it almost certainly means that others are closely crowded together, or even overlapping. This closeness means that it is much more difficult to keep them clean, with bacteria becoming trapped in places that a toothbrush, and sometimes even dental floss, is unable to reach. Leaving these areas insufficiently clean may well lead to tooth decay and gum disease after a while.

Obviously, it is easier to clean in a larger gap between the teeth but this space means that there is also room for other teeth to gradually move into. This happens quite slowly, but over time, you may find that more and more of your teeth become crooked and uneven. For both of these reasons, the team at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice believe that gaps in the teeth should be closed in most cases.

How do we close gaps in the teeth?

The methods used to close a gap in the teeth will depend on the type of gap and also your own individual situation. A consultation will be needed first of all to examine your teeth and to discuss the available treatments with you.

Missing teeth

If you have lost a tooth or a number of teeth, there are three options available to you. These are:

Dentures – A standard option which works for some people whilst others find them less than ideal due to occasional instability and difficulties in eating some foods. Dentures usually don’t require an invasive procedure and are one of the cheaper options available, but they are not without their compromises.

Bridge – A dental bridge can be used to ‘bridge’ the gap between the teeth. This is done by placing artificial teeth in these gaps and securing them in place by the use of crowns at either end of the bridge which are then attached to the existing teeth either side of the gap. This is a more permanent option but does require the preparation of healthy teeth in order to attach the crowns.

Dental implants – An increasingly popular option as they offer unequalled strength and stability that other treatments can’t match. They do require an invasive treatment in order to place them, but once secured in the mouth, can last you for 20 years or more providing that you take care of them as instructed.

Crooked or uneven teeth

The only way to straighten uneven or crooked teeth is through the use of orthodontics. In the past, this may have meant you would have to wear a highly visible metal brace. This almost certainly deterred some people from having them at that time. Modern orthodontic treatments are much more discreet and either use transparent trays, or, where the more traditional method of wires and brackets are used, materials that are produced in colours to match the teeth, helping them to blend in much better.

Because of the nature of this problem, treatment may take some time to work, although there are cosmetic dental braces available for minor corrections of the front teeth which can work much faster.

If you have an uneven smile and would like to correct it, please arrange to see one of our Burton cosmetic dentists to determine which treatment option is most suitable for you.


If you have a gap between your top front teeth, depending on the severity, we may recommend that you have this corrected for the reasons previously mentioned. How this is done will depend upon each patient. Whilst orthodontics are often used to correct this issue, it can also sometimes be resolved by the use of cosmetic bonding. Again, a consultation will be needed to determine the best approach for each circumstance.

If you would like to talk to someone at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice to find out how we can help you have an attractive, even smile, why not give our friendly team a call today on 01283 845345?