What is Diastema?

 

The space or gap between two teeth is known as diastema. In most of the cases, this gap appears between the two upper front teeth; however, it can also appear between any two teeth.

What are the causes for Diastema?

 
  • Missing teeth or undersized teeth – this normally happens with the upper lateral incisors that are teeth next to the two upper front teeth.
  • Pathologic Migration of teeth – When the bone surrounding the teeth is lost due to gum diseases such as periodontitis the teeth tend to migrate labially/ anteriorly causing spacing between teeth
  • Oversized labial frenum – the labial fraenum is the piece of tissue that normally extends from the inside of your upper lip to the gum just above your two upper front teeth. In certain situations, the labial fraenum continues to grow and passes between the two front teeth. Under such circumstances the diastema occurs.
  • Falling of baby teeth – whenever the baby teeth fall the children will have temporary gaps; however these gaps mostly close when the permanent teeth reach their final positions.

How do you treat Diastema or spacing between teeth?

 

If you have diastema you can take any of the following options:

  • Leave it as it is – Natural spacing or diastema is not harmful and needs no treatment unless you look at as an image problem. Many celebrities have left it as it is without treating them may be because they look at it as their trademark and see it as their personality while smiling.
  • Orthodontic Treatment – If diastema is a subset of other associated problems or you think that it hurts your appearance, you will require orthodontic treatment. In order to close the gap the orthodontist might put braces which move the teeth together. Irrespective of the location of the diastema it is necessary for you to wear complete set of braces – on your upper and lower set of teeth. This is necessary because moving any teeth will affect all the teeth in your mouth.
  • Dental Veneers – You could opt for porcelain veneers. Dental veneers are thin porcelain pieces that are attached to the outside of your tooth using a bonding material. In most of the cases this is more than enough.
  • Dental Implants, Crown and Bridge - If the gap occurs because of your lateral incisors being small, your dentist might widen them using crowns, bonding or veneers. If the space is due to missing teeth you might be provided with dental implants dental bridges or partial denture.
  • Periodontal therapy - If the diastema or spacing has increased over a period of time it is more likely that you may be suffering from a gum disease known as periodontitis. The treatment of periodontitis will be done by a specialist Periodontist who will have to perform a periodontal flap surgery with bone grafting. Therefore it is very important that the reason for spacing is diagnosed accurately.