Cosmetic Dentistry, Orthodontics, Prosthodontics, Tips in Clinical Dentistry

Tooth or Dental Spacing – Causes and Treatment

Dental or Tooth Spacing is a very complicated yet simple complication which requires knowledge about types of spacing and what treatment plan is required. Spacing is a very common complication in Anterior teeth which has to be corrected to bring out the perfect smile everyone wish for. Treatments to close Dental Spaces is costly in many countries compared to many others and also depending on the type of Treatment plan the duration of the treatment also differs so in case of Space closure dental tourism is not so popular because of the time taken in some treatment plans. Dental spacing is seen in Decidious or Milk teeth and it is normal occurrence and not an abnormality so if your child is having spacing in his/her milk teeth so do not worry until his/her permanent teeth have erupted.

Etiology or Causes of Dental Spacing:

Dental Spacing can be caused by multiple factors which can be divided into Developmental causes and also Physiological causes, I will be explaining each cause in brief: Developmental causes: These spacing issues are the one’s which should not be worried about as they will be corrected by themselves as development takes place and some will need intervention and sometimes surgery to correct them.

  • Spacing in Decidious or Primary teeth: The spacing seen in decidious or primary teeth in the front or anterior teeth is common and this will be closed once the permanent teeth start to appear and as your child grows older and as the jaws grow. So if your kids are having spaces between his or her teeth there is no need to worry or you can just consult a dentist and confirm.
  • Ugly Duckling stage: This is a stage where spacing appears between the upper front teeth from the age of 7 to 12 years which is the time after the eruption of maxillary centrals and laterals and preceeding the eruption of permanent canine. The bulky crown of the canine will push the roots of the laterals mesially and the crown moves distally creating a space which will be corrected when the canine comes into the oral cavity.
  • Microdontia: This is not a quite common problem and in this we see that the size of all the teeth in the oral cavity is small in case of generalized microdintia and only one or two teeth are smaller leading to spacing in case of localized microdontia where the maxillary lateral is most commonly affected which leads to spacing. This can be treated by placing crowns like zirconia or PFM or Veneers to close the spaces, some dentists also prefer direct composite build ups which also gives great results in space closure.

Dental Spacing causes and treatment

Physiological causes of Spacing: 

  • Tongue Thrusting: It is also a common cause of spacing of both the maxillary and mandibular the anterior teeth which is caused due to the constant tongue thrusting habit by the patient which leads to spacing between the teeth to increase as the age progresses which leads to increase in overjet if the cause is not removed and proper treatment plan is not followed be it Orthodontic or surgical or giving removable appliances like tongue crib.
  • Thumb Sucking: This is also a reason for spacing in anterior teeth which will be caused due to constant thumb sucking by the kid or child from the time when the permanent teeth start to erupt which is 6 to 7 years, so if your child is continuing thumb sucking even after the age of 6 years you need to visit a dentist to help control the habit with the help of habit breaking appliances which will prevent future spacing between maxillary anterior teeth.
  • Periodontitis: If spacing has started in your adulthood then it is most probably caused by periodontitis which occurs due to amny reasons like lack of oral hygiene, Diabetes etc and due to this there is bone loss around the teeth which will lead to mobility and movement of teeth away from each other, the treatment to this is early detection and scaling and root planning and if necessary flap surgery along with bone grafting to correct any bony defects if the condition has progressed. There are different types of periodontitis conditions like Chronic Generalized Periodontitis, Chronic Localized periodontitis, Aggressive Periodontitis etc.

These are the most common causes of dental spacing which can be treated based on the type of type of problem and etiology. So let us discuss the various treatment modalities which can be done to close spacing in teeth.

Treatments to correct dental spacing in teeth:

  • Orthodontic Braces Treatment: This is the most commonly preferred treatment as it is a permanent form of treatment where the complete tooth movement is done using braces and mostly it is not preferred by most people because of the long duration of treatment and many people are concerned about the aesthetic problem for the duration of treatment due to the presence of braces.   
  • Direct and Indirect Veneers: This is the best mode of treatment of dental spacing  which is minimally invasive, direct veneers should be preferred mostly as it is non invasive and tooth cutting is required. Composite is the choice of material to be used in direct veneering technique which can be used to match the exact shade of the natural tooth to give it a completely natural look. In Indirect veneers many types of materials are used like porcelain and composite where minimal tooth cutting is required on the labial and incisal region to  accommodate the laminate veneers and extends mesially and distally which will close the space around the teeth.
  • Crowns and Bridges: In case of spacing which is greater and cannot be treated with the help of veneers we can take help by placing crowns and bridges to close the gaps by extending the tooth mesially and distally. Crowns are more invasie treatment compared to Veneers.


  1. The information about the causes for spacing in primary teeth was very insightful. My son has recently been experiencing quite a bit of spacing in his primary teeth. I’m worried that the space in his teeth will be permanent. Do these spacing issues always resolve itself once the jaw has fully grown? It would be helpful to know if there’s anything that can be done if the space between his teeth doesn’t eventually disappear.

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