What is a diastema?

A diastema is a gap (wider than 0.5 millimeters) between the teeth. It can appear in both children and adults. It is not harmful. In children, the gap usually closes when their permanent teeth erupt. In most cases treatment is not necessary except for cosmetic reasons. In fact, some people are recognized for their diastema.

 

gap between teeth - paid - shutterstock 555080956

Causes:

(1.) the size of the teeth is too small relative to the size of their jawbone;

(2) if some teeth are smaller or are missing;

(3) tooth migration is a typical symptom of advanced gum disease;

(4) the labial frenum - the tissue between the inside of the upper lip and the gum above the upper front teeth - is especially large;

(5) swallowing reflex pushes the tongue against the front teeth rather than the roof of the mouth when swallowing;

(6) habits like thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting; loss of baby teeth.

 

 

If you want to close the gap for aesthetic reasons, your dentist can help you choose the best solution for your needs. The most common treatments are:

  1. Braces are used to move the teeth with pressure for a time.
  2. Veneers or bonding. Dental to the bonding applies resin to the surface of the teeth. Veneers are fitted over the surface of the teeth.
  3. If the gap is due to missing teeth, you may choose a bridge or a dental implant.
  4. If the gap is caused by a large labial frenum, you might choose a frenectomy to remove the extra tissue. Older children and adults may need braces or other treatment after surgery. In younger children, the gap may close on its own.
  5. Gum disease treatment to stop the infection.

If you or your child have a diastema that concerns you, make an appointment and discuss it with your dentist.