Diastema means a gap between teeth; often the gap appears between your two front upper teeth. There can be genetic or medical reasons for diastema to occur, meaning it can run in the family, or you may have certain conditions that make it more likely. Often, there’s no need for treatment, so if you don’t mind the gap, that’s okay. If diastema is an issue for you, there are many treatments available that can eliminate or minimize it.
What causes diastema?
There are many different causes for diastema. Some of the most common include:
- Shape and size of your jaws and how your teeth fit in them. Simply put, some people’s teeth are too small to totally fill up the space available. Gaps can occur as a result, the most common being that familiar space between the two front upper teeth. If your mother or father has a gap front tooth, you are more likely to inherit that trait, too.
- Your gums are larger than usual. Gum lines can press down into and between teeth, separating them more than normal. When a gum line squeezes between your two front upper teeth, you can end up with a gap-tooth smile.
- Gum inflammation (gingivitis) causes gums to swell and loosen. Untreated, gingivitis could lead to advanced gum disease, which can cause tooth loss, among other problems. When you lose a tooth, there is extra space that opens up in your mouth, and your remaining teeth tend to move and shift now that there is nothing pressing against them.
If gum disease is behind your diastema, you definitely need dental treatment. It’s essential to keep your gums and teeth healthy in order to ensure good oral health, and your overall health. A general dentist can help with many conditions, including deep cleanings and treatment for any dental decay.
If you have serious gum disease you may need extra help from a gum disease specialist (periodontist). Your dentist can tell you if you need more advanced treatment, and recommend a trusted specialist.
Some people don’t mind the gap
The traditional definition of beauty often includes a gleaming, white smile with perfectly straight teeth. But there’s also beauty in being unique. A gap-tooth smile can look winsome, charming, and even a bit rebellious. Some notable celebrities who have and flaunt their diastema include Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Strahan, Madonna, David Letterman, and Anna Paquin.
If you want to eliminate any gaps
Not everyone embraces having a gap between their teeth, especially if it’s front and center. Luckily, there are many treatments that can eliminate or minimize the gaps. Some options include:
- Braces to reposition and straighten your teeth
- Bonding and veneers, which go on top of your teeth to fill in spaces and improve the aesthetics of your smile. The treatment consists of a composite material that is an even color to match your existing teeth. Bonding can also fix chipped teeth.
- Gum reduction. If gum tissues have been pushing your teeth apart, gum reduction procedures plus braces can realign your teeth to eliminate any gaps.
To learn more about what your dentist says about diastema and other conditions about your oral health, call Dedicated Dental at (702) 566-5509 to request an appointment, or request an appointment online.