Gaps in teeth are common, however, many people feel self-conscious and want to see a dentist. Gap teeth are typically corrected with tooth-colored composite filling, however, dental veneers can also be used for bridging the dental gap. The composite-filling procedure is quick and nearly painless, and the teeth gap filling cost is much less than veneers. However, veneers may be warranted in some cases where other issues like hard-to-treat discoloration, broken teeth, chipped teeth, or more than one space. You can have a veneer put on just one or two teeth to fix a gap, or you can have them put on the teeth that show for a brighter, more uniform smile. If you’ve been wondering can dentist fix gaps in teeth, contact your dentist and set up a consultation for an evaluation to determine the best course of action to fill your tooth gap.
The gap distance is the space between the bone of an osteotomy or an extraction socket and a dental implant at stage-one surgery. A gap may occur at various locations including the lingual or proximal aspect or at the buccal plate. The level of the first bone-to-implant contact is influenced by the dimension of the gap as well as the type of implant used.
Gap distance can also refer to the distance between teeth. To reduce the gap between teeth, different forms of dental or orthodontic work may be required including tooth extraction or braces. To correct the gap between teeth, treatment may require repeated visits which can spread out over a number of months or even years. Gap between teeth treatment costs will vary depending on the type of dental or orthodontic work required as well as the duration of the corrections and number of office visits.
Gingiva is another word for the gums, or the soft, pink tissue that surrounds and protects the bottom of the teeth where they enter the jawbone. The gingiva is attached to the tooth, which forms a seal between the mouth and the underlying bone. Poor oral hygiene causes a buildup of plaque in the crevices of the teeth and gums, which if left untreated, can cause an infection called gingivitis, or gum disease. Gum disease causes inflammation of the gums and weakens the seal, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth root and bone structure. When this happens, the infection progresses to periodontitis, which often results in permanent tooth and bone loss. The gums play an integral role in the overall oral health of a patient and are crucial to keep healthy. Poor gum health contributes to poor oral health and a wide variety of other dental problems.
Gingival Crevicular Fluid
Gingival crevicular fluid, also called GCF, was recognized as an important factor in diagnosing periodontal disease over six decades ago. It is an inflammatory exudate that is derived from periodontal tissue and contains primarily the byproducts of tissue breakdown, antibodies, inflammatory mediators, and serum. It also contains structural periodontal cells, leukocytes, and normal oral bacteria that is usually present in the mouth. The serum component of this fluid is mostly derived from postcapillary venules, or microvascular, leakage. This fluid has an important role in maintaining the antimicrobial defense of the periodontium and maintaining the structure of the junctional epithelium. The bacteria most often responsible for periodontal disease are Treponema denticola and Porphyromonas gingivalis. The bacteria create broad-spectrum neutral proteinases to attack healthy tissue, which are then found in both samples of gingival crevicular fluid and plaque in patients who have periodontal disease. Patients with periodontal disease have an excess of GCF, whereas patients with healthy gums have very little.
A gingival flap is created during gingival flap surgery, a procedure where gum tissue is separated from surrounding teeth and deflected back to allow a dental surgeon access to the jawbone and the root of the tooth. A gingival flap is created prior to bone grafting and before a dental implant is placed, but it can also be used before treating periodontitis, or gum disease. During the procedure, the gums are numbed with a local anesthetic and a surgeon uses a small scalpel to make a u-shaped incision and fold the flap of gum tissue back. Then, the surgeon will graft bone or place the implant, replace the flap, and suture it closed. This is usually done with dissolvable sutures for patient comfort. With most dental implant procedures, a gingival flap must be made twice and possibly even three times. First to graft bone, then to place an implant, then to remove the cover screw and place the abutment.
Gum recession is a common problem among adults and affects between 4-12% of both men and women. Gum tissue recedes gradually and is often unnoticeable until it becomes severe. Untreated gum disease can cause damage to the bone underneath, resulting in tooth loss. If too much damage has been done to underlying bone, a dental implant may not be able to be placed. A gum tissue graft, also called a gingival graft, involves taking healthy oral tissue from one area of the mouth, usually the hard palate or roof of the mouth, and transplanting it to the desired area. However, some oral surgeons prefer to use donor tissue instead of grafting from the roof of the mouth. Gingival grafts may be done in conjunction with a bone graft or dental implant procedure, since gum disease often creates a need for multiple surgical procedures to repair the bone and gum tissue.
Receding gums, or more accurately known as gingival recession, is the exposure of the root of one or more teeth due to the retraction of the gingival margin or the loss of gum tissue over time. Most commonly, gingival recession is a problem faced by adults over the age of 40, however, younger individuals may also begin to notice signs of receding gums around the age of puberty or during their teen years. Gum recession may occur with the loss of alveolar bone underneath, which decreases the ratio of crown-to-root, affecting an individual’s cosmetic appearance and overall facial aesthetics. Gingival recession is classified using Miller’s classification system, and the causes of this condition are numerous. Most often, gum recession is the result of gum disease, or periodontal disease. It can also be caused by genetics, poor flossing habits, tooth crowding, overaggressive brushing habits, and the use of dipping tobacco.
The gingival sulcus is the point at which the tooth and gums meet, which is the primary component of the emergence profile. This is a highly visible area of the mouth and can impact the overall aesthetics of a patient’s smile. Ideally, the gingival sulcus is close to the tooth, with 3mm or less of space where food particles and bacteria can enter. Beyond this depth, traditional brushing and flossing habits aren’t able to reach and particulates build up over time. This results in bacterial overgrowth and periodontitis, an infection of the gums and potentially the bone tissue underneath. The deeper the gingival sulcus, the more difficult it is to properly clean it without professional care. As time progresses, the infection causes the sulcus to further deepen, compounding the issue and potentially resulting in tooth loss as the alveolar ridge degrades. The depth of the sulcus is easily checked with a dental probe.
Glucocorticoids, or corticosteroids, are a class of steroid hormones that are characterized by an ability to bind with the glucocorticoid receptor. In dentistry, their main therapeutic use is as an anti-inflammatory agent and immunosuppressant. Some of the more commonly used glucocorticoids include betamethasone, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone, and triamcinolone. Glucocorticoids can be used for or following a variety of dental procedures such as endodontics for root resorption, oral surgeries to reduce edema and to aid in the prevention of ulcerations and excoriation, and the treatment of oral submucosa fibrosis and oral lichen planus. The use of glucocorticoids can reduce patient discomfort, lessen the time required for healing, aid in the healing process, and aid in the prevention of post-operative issues. The type of steroid used will depend upon the patient’s medical history, prior use of glucocorticoids, type of dental procedure, and the symptom or symptoms that need relieving.
Glycosylated hemoglobin A1c test (HbA1c test)
The glycosylated hemoglobin A1c test, also known as the HbA1c or glycated hemoglobin A1c test, is a type of lab test which reveals the average plasma glucose concentration over a period of three months. Specifically, it measures the number of glucose molecules attached to hemoglobin. Results are expressed as a percentage, with 4% to 6% considered to be normal. This test provides information regarding a patient’s possible risk of developing diabetes. By measuring the percentage of sugar-coated hemoglobin, a practitioner can determine a patient’s level of blood sugar control. Higher percentages of sugar-coated hemoglobin typically indicate a higher risk of developing diabetes. Tests such as these may be required prior to dental surgery as they provide insight into health conditions that could possibly hinder the healing process post-surgery. Patients shown to have higher A1c levels may first be required to address their blood sugar levels prior to having a procedure.