Diastema (Gaps In Teeth) – Causes, Treatments

Excerpt: Midline diastema is diagnosed when a patient has a gap between the two front teeth...
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What Is Diastema?

Diastema (gapped Teeth) means a patient has one or more gaps between their teeth. The gaps do not need to be significant, in fact you some gaps may not even be that noticeable. Diastema can range from barely noticeable to significant depending on the size of the gap.

Midline Diastema

Midline diastema is diagnosed when a patient has a gap between the two front teeth. Midline diastema is specific to the two front teeth, but diastema, in general, can happen between any teeth.
 

More often than not, gaps between the teeth are not overly large, some people have larger gaps between the teeth, but this tends to be a fairly rare condition. Children are more likely to have gaps between their baby teeth, but these gaps tend to fill in when their adult teeth grow in.

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Diastema – Causes

Genetics

Diastema has been known to be a genetic condition, this means that if your parents or ancestors have had diastema in the past, you may inherit this trait as well. If the cause is from genetics, there is nothing that could be done to prevent it. Having different bite and teeth alignments are a fairly common trait, and these issues can be fixed fairly reliably at an early age. If you are aware that this condition exists in your family, you should inform your dentist.

Gum Tissue Overgrowth, Gum Disease, Poor Oral Care

Poor oral care is a common theme among many oral health afflictions. If you do not take your oral health seriously, you may be diagnosed with gum disease or even overgrowth. Gums can respond to a build-up of plaque and tartar in a number of ways, we may be familiar with receding gums, but they can also grow more than what is normally expected. The change in the amount of gum tissue can cause your teeth to shift over time, older patients may be more vulnerable to this outcome, but everyone can be affected by this.

Negative Childhood Habits And Irregular Swallowing Reflexes

If an infant uses a pacifier or bottle for an extended period of time, it can affect the position of their teeth. Thumb sucking can also cause the teeth to shift. Your pediatrician will be a valuable resource on the healthy development of oral habits for your child. If the gaps happen to the primary teeth, it may not be as big of a concern since the adult teeth can potentially grow in and fill these gaps.

Temporary Diastemas

The sudden loss of a child’s primary teeth can cause diastemas, but these gaps will likely be closed when the adult teeth grow in.
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Diastemas – Treatments

The gap(s) in your teeth may not need to be treated at all, minor gaps don’t cause too much concern, but if you have a major gap or one that is noticeable, it may be productive to fix it at an early age. Irregularities in teeth alignment can cause self-esteem & confidence issues.

Braces

Braces are a common way to fix bite alignment issues, they are science-backed, very reliable, and can be used to fix minor and major issues. Most people will opt to get braces at a younger age, typically children and teenagers are more likely to have braces than adults. However, if the person does want braces to fix gaps in their teeth, you can get them at any age.

Invisalign

Older patients who need alignment adjustments may inquire about Invisalign as it is less noticeable and more flexible than braces. You can take them out to clean, and eat, and they are clear. However, Invisalign is generally used to fix minor gaps or alignment issues. If you have significant gaps, the dentist may recommend against Invisalign as it might not be effective for you.

Dental Bonding

You may be eligible for dental bonding if you have gaps in your teeth. Dental bonding consists of having materials bonded to your teeth to fill in gaps, chips, or other damages. This is a cheaper alternative to braces or Invisalign and is more suitable for minor gaps.

Dental Veneers

Veneers can fix gaps in your teeth as they are thin shells that are made to make your smile more esthetic. They can be a more expensive fix for your teeth, however, if you only have 1 or 2 gaps that you need to fix, they may be more financially viable than braces, which can be even more expensive. Veneers also have the distinct advantage of fixing your smile instantly when compared to the treatment time of braces or Invisalign.

Dental Restoration – Crowns & Bridges

Crowns and or bridges may be recommended by the dentist if they think it is a viable option for your teeth. A crown will also fortify your tooth, making it very strong. Bridges are a good solution if the adjacent teeth are strong enough to support them.

Diastema Complications

Diastema does not need to be treated if there are no significant health concerns, however, if the teeth have shifted due to gum disease, then you will need to get that treated and fixed before other problems arise. Having consistent dental checkups and a good oral care routine can be a great way to get out ahead of any gum issues.
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