Many people have gaps in their teeth. Some of these gaps may exist for years and not be a problem. However, many of these gaps in the teeth can very much be a problem. Just because no pain nor sensitivity exists does not guarantee that all is well.
Gaps can exist for many reasons. Gaps may exist due to a missing filling. These gaps must be addressed as soon as possible. Other gaps may exist due to a partially broken away filling or tooth. These too must be addressed as soon as possible. Others may exists from tooth movement over time.
Many patients think teeth are stable in their positions over the long haul. However, that is not the case. The jawbone is not like concrete. The bone within the jaw is a living tissue that responds to forces and usage. As a result, the bone can remodel and move. This then causes the teeth to move. It is this tooth movement that may allow a gap to become apparent. Depending on the cleanliness of the new gap, and depending upon the oral hygiene effectiveness of the patient, these areas may or may not decay.
Moreover, gaps may exist in poorly fitting fillings and dental restorations. These too should be addressed as soon as possible.
Now, when a patient experiences a gap, the cause of the gap may not be readily apparent. The cause must be known to assist in determining if treatment is indeed necessary. So, I would recommend that patients with gaps between teeth see a dentist at least regularly. If a new gap develops, for sure I would recommend seeing a dentist as soon as possible.
Patients may not be able to tell if they have a gap. However, if you notice food trapping, you most likely have a gap. Also, if floss passes between teeth with very little to no resistance, obviously that is a gap as well.
So, if you have a gap that I have recommended above to be seen by a dentist as soon as possible, I would definitely make that appointment. The decay associated with gaps in teeth travels the fastest, by far. What may seem to be recommended for a filling in one month may be recommended for a whole lot more the next month. Please, do yourself a favor and address those gaps needing to be addressed as soon as possible.
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