Why Is A Gap Forming In My Teeth?

When you notice a gap in someone’s front teeth, you typically assume they have had this gap since they were quite young, but what if this gap happened recently? Let’s look at reasons why a person may notice a recent shift in their front teeth.


Diastema is the medical term for a noticeable gap between teeth. It has many possible causes, like children who suck their thumb may form a gap. The pressure of sucking on the front teeth can force them forward creating a gap.

spacing between front teeth

For others, it can be hereditary. It can also happen if someone’s teeth are too small for their jawbone making their teeth spaced apart.

These situations refer to younger patients, but what causes a gap to form in an adult?

Causes Of Adult Diastema

Depending on your point of view, a gap between front teeth can be considered a problem or an attractive feature. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Swallowing Incorrectly

You may notice a gap forming between teeth if you swallow a certain way. Instead of your tongue being on the roof of your mouth when you swallow, it may push against your front teeth. Sometimes called a tongue thrust, overtime it can cause a gap between teeth.

Overgrown Tissue

Having too much tissue that borders your gum line and your two front teeth can lead to a separation.

Gum Disease

Inflammatory gum disease is an infection that can damage both your gums and the tissue supporting your teeth. If left uncontrolled and untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and gaps.

Symptoms of gum disease include red and swollen gums, loose teeth, and bleeding gums. Seek the help of Manhattan Dental Arts in Manhattan’s Upper West Side if you have these symptoms.

A Large Jaw

Combine a large jaw with a tooth extraction, and you are left with open space which can cause less pressure on your teeth. Over time your teeth may move or shift to fill the space more evenly, which can cause gaps to develop.


Osteoporosis can lead to bone loss. If this occurs, there may not be enough bone in your mouth causing a gap to develop.

Reducing The Risk Of Diastema

In short, don’t let children suck their thumbs, learn how to swallow properly, and always practice good oral hygiene to prevent gum disease.

Contact Manhattan Dental Arts at (212) 247-2330, or request an appointment online, if you are noticing a shift in your front teeth creating a gap.