Diastema is a gap or space between teeth. These gaps can form anywhere in the mouth, but are sometimes noticeable around the upper front two teeth and disappear once permanent teeth grow in children’s mouths.
Gap teeth or ‘diastema’ is a common cosmetic dental issue. A lot of people have them. Thumb-sucking or gum disease can be the reason. The good news is that there’s a solution for this problem, but not everyone needs specialist treatment. In this post, we’ll tell you why gaps in the teeth occur and what can be done to prevent and remedy the issue. Let’s get going.
What is Diastema or Gap Teeth?
Diastema can occur anywhere, but most people think of it when they see one between two front upper incisors. Gap teeth are often caused by several factors like loss or damage to adult tooth roots as well as babies missing their first molars and premolars without having had time to grow new ones themselves before being born into this world.
Sometimes, gaps happen on accident from an injury that causes trauma enough for some bone growths around the jawbone region to move out of place, resulting in displacement depending on how intense that traumatic event was.
Regardless of why you have a gap, there are ways you can fix them if necessary with treatments such as orthodontics or surgery. Other issues include:
A mouthful of tiny teeth might sound like a fairy tale, but it’s the reality for many people. The small size can be caused by genetics or an injury that causes tooth loss and lead to gaps in between other teeth.
Missing teeth can lead to serious problems in your mouth. One side effect of missing teeth is that the other ones shift and drift, which changes their placement. This may cause spacing-related issues such as trouble breathing or dental decay on surfaces where toothbrush bristles cannot reach, leading to more expensive treatments down the line!
Missing teeth often lead to major oral health complications like an inability for a person’s tongue/mouth muscles from being able to clean all surfaces adequately due if they have one space close up between two permanent molars (can’t brush back there!)
Additionally, because people who are missing some or many upper front adult incisors will chew food unevenly without them, which means increased wear on those remaining healthy gnashers.
Gum disease is a common issue and can cause teeth to loosen and move apart over time.
Tongue thrust is a common swallowing reflex that occurs when your tongue pushes against the top teeth while you swallow. This can cause tooth gaps to develop over time, and it’s caused by an increase in intraoral pressure during this process.
A large frenulum can keep teeth from coming together properly by growing down in between them.
Should I Treat It?
It’s worth noting that children often have temporary gaps as their baby teeth fall out, but most of these spaces will close up as the permanent teeth reach their final positions.
They might need a little help from dentists with some extra dental work to make sure they all line up correctly and don’t leave any unwanted room in between them called “gummy-bear syndrome.”
Gaps in teeth can lead to a variety of dental problems. They are more likely than fully-aligned teeth in this regard because there is nothing controlling the movements that might occur between them.
Yet, not all gaps will cause issues. It depends on where and how big they are. As well as what their companion tooth’s position is like for each individual case.
When a patient seeks orthodontic treatment for a tooth gap, some will choose to get braces. The teeth are then moved together by the brace which can be worn on either your upper or lower set of teeth depending on where you need help.
This is because moving any one tooth affects every other tooth in that area as well so they all have to move along with it.
If you have a space because of missing teeth, then it might not be just your tooth that is in need of repairs. You may also want to get dental implants or even a partial denture for all the lost spaces.
When a large labial frenum is the cause of an open space, doctors can perform a surgery called a Frenectomy. When this procedure is done in children before their growth plates are fused or when it’s performed on adults who have reached full maturity and want to close the gap for aesthetic reasons, there isn’t much risk involved with healing time because natural bone elasticity will likely take over.
However, if it’s undergone by younger patients as part of treatment for speech impediments- such as stuttering or lisping, then they may not be able to achieve closure without braces post-op.
What to do Now?
Treatment for gaps will vary from patient to patient, and it can depend on the cause or severity of a case. Braces are often used as treatment but they’re not always necessary; there might be other courses of action that an orthodontist may recommend such as oral surgery which is usually only required in more severe cases.
Dr. Adam Schulhof is the founder and medical director of the Schulhof Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics in New Jersey. Dr. Schulhof graduated with high honours from The University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey. He completed his orthodontic speciality training at the prestigious Columbia University.
Call the doctor today to schedule an appointment to see if your gaps need correcting and how.