A tooth gap also known as a diastema is attractive in many cultures around the world. A tooth gap sometimes runs in families and several family members may have a similar diastema. Many persons identify a tooth gap as a beauty mark. For some people, a tooth gap can be due to a missing tooth, a frenum pull, or sucking a thumb/pacifier later in physical development.
The frenum is a piece of tissue resembling our gums. There is a lingual frenum under the tongue. And a labial frenum underneath the upper lip. The labial frenum is a line of tissue that can be felt when pulling on the upper lip. The attachment of the labial frenum can be positioned close enough to the front two teeth to cause a gap between teeth. The pull of the frenum can also cause gum recession or affect the fitting of dentures in some patients.
The pull of the frenum should be examined if an undesirable tooth gap is noticed between the upper incisors. Many babies have a noticeable frenum but with age and development, the frenum often becomes less prominent. However, if it doesn’t resolve or reposition with growth, then a frenectomy or frenum removal can be done.
A frenectomy can be done manually with a cutting instrument or with a soft tissue laser. The position of the frenum is released and reattached to allow the space between incisors to close. A frenectomy is helpful in maintaining orthodontic treatment results if a tooth gap was one of the initial reasons for treatment.
It is important to examine the tissue around teeth. Gum tissue, surrounding bone, and attachment tissue like the frenum all contribute to the appearance of our smile, and facial appearance. Soft tissue laser can modify some tissue discrepancies and result in a new smile.
If you are interested in having your teeth and smile evaluated, contact us at Museum Smiles Dentistry to schedule a comprehensive dental examination. We are conveniently located within a few minutes of Downtown Fort Worth. And proudly serve patients from Keller, Arlington, and Fort Worth areas.