Thursday Thought: What is a Diastema?

How can I treat a Diastema?

A diastema is a gap/space between the teeth. These gaps can form anywhere, but are more noticeable when they are between the two upper front teeth. Both adults and children can have diastemas. However, in children, this usually resolves itself when their permanent teeth come in. If you have a diastema and do not like the way it looks, there are ways to close this.

There are several reasons that diastemas can occur. Sometimes it has to do with the size of your teeth. For example, if your teeth are too small for your jaw, the teeth are spaced farther apart than they should. You may also develop diastema if there is too much tissue around your gum line; this can cause a separation, which results in gaps/spaces. If you have ever wondered why the dental profession warns against allowing your children to suck their thumb, it is because this sucking puts pressure on their front teeth. This pressure causes their teeth to pull forward, which can form a gap/space. Missing teeth are also a huge factor in the forming of diastemas. These are just a few reasons why gaps/spaces can occur, resulting in a diastema.

Now, just because there is a diastema present in your mouth does not necessarily mean it needs to be treated. For a lot of adults, this is nothing more than a cosmetic issue and does not mean there is an underlying dental issue – making it a voluntary choice to treat.

One of the most common treatments for a diastema is orthodontic treatment – braces. The brackets that are placed when one is in braces puts pressure on the teeth and slowly moves them together. This results in the closing of the gaps. Some patients do not want to go through a period of braces. If this is the case, speak to your dentist about this. There are other options that can help fix diastemas; such as veneers or bonding. In the case where there is an overgrowth of gums causing the space, a small procedure that removes the excess gum is performed and this can correct the diastema. If you are experiencing gum disease, you must treat this condition before you receive treatment to close the diastema.

The good news is that most of the time, the treatment to close a diastema is successful. Practicing good oral hygiene is always key to reducing risks of dental problems. Do not forget to see your dentist twice a year for your regular checkups and if you have a diastema and want to know how this can be treated, please call your dental office. Your dental team can help you attain a beautiful smile, along with a healthy dentition.