‘Diastema’ is a naturally occurring gap in the teeth, most commonly present between the two upper front teeth. One of the most common reasons this gap between teeth occurs is when a mismatch develops between the size of the teeth and that of the jawbones.
Why Do I Have A Gapped Tooth?
If your siblings were born with perfect smiles and you were the lucky black sheep with a space between your teeth, your dentist may know why! Common reasons why gapped teeth (a diastema) forms include the following:
- Missing tooth
- Thumb sucking habit
- Incorrect swallowing reflex
- Periodontal gum disease
- Oversized gum tissue between two front teeth
Most children have temporary gaps in their teeth as their baby teeth come out. As permanent teeth start growing in, most of these spaces close in naturally. In other cases, parents may speak with their family dentist about orthodontic dentistry such as braces or Invisalign. Even adults can recover straight teeth!
The American Association of Orthodontists recommend a thorough evaluation by an orthodontist by age 7. If you notice a space in your child’s mouth, take him/her to your family dentist. Diastema in adults can be detected quite easily. Your family dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for further treatment. You may need to visit a periodontist if the gap is the result of a periodontal disease.
Can Diastema Be Prevented?
If the diastema is cause by a mismatch between the size of the jaw and that of the teeth, it may not be prevented. It can still be rectified by orthodontic treatment or cosmetic dentistry.
Dr. Inessa Sosis from Golden Gate Dental recommends that regular flossing and good dental care habits can prevent diastema caused by periodontal diseases. Tongue thrust habits can be re-learned, which can prevent further worsening of the spaces between the teeth.
Best treatment options recommended by Dr Inessa Sosis
Braces are recommended in some cases to shift the teeth together. Since moving any teeth affects the entire set of teeth, wearing a complete set of braces is ideal.
Invisalign aligners may also be used in this case. Invisible and removable, Invisalign can be a great way to treat this problem discreetly.
Veneers and Crowns
In the event of the lateral incisors being too small, widening them using dental bonding, crowns or veneers is also often recommended. Veneers can give aesthetically beautiful results which can further enhance your appearance.
At Golden Gate Dental, we specialize in No-Prep Veneers that can be perfectly fitted in only two comfortable and easy visits to the clinic. Dental implants, a partial denture or a bridge may be required in case of missing teeth.
If the gap is caused by large gum tissue between the teeth, it may be surgically removed through Frenectomy. If a frenectomy is performed in a younger child (before age 7) chances are that the gap will close on its own.
Periodontal treatment and follow-up
Gaps caused by periodontal disease may be effectively treated by a dentist or a gum specialist. Once the gum problem is resolved, braces may be used to bring the teeth into their appropriate position. Bridges or splints may be used to close the gaps and prevent them from moving.
Treatment with dental repair or orthodontics can help close diastema. In most cases the gap will tend to stay closed. But to help your treatment along, continue wearing your retainers as directed by your orthodontist. Sometimes splints and wires can be used to keep the teeth from moving. In some cases additional cosmetic dentistry such a dental bonding and composite fillings is required.
Our golden Gate Dental office is fully equipped with all the top-of-the-class dental technology, so you can have your dental problems treated in one place. From family dentistry to cosmetic dentistry, we have it all covered under one roof.
For a free consultation, contact us today!