Diastema: the gap between teeth

13 April · 4 minutes

While a gap between teeth is considered attractive by some, it can be a source of complexity for others. With supermodels showcasing their diastema teeth as a unique feature, it has drawn attention to this dental irregularity. If you're uncertain about your teeth and wish to fix a gap in your front teeth, we will discuss the origins of dental diastemas and how they can be treated.

What is the definition of diastema?

Normally, healthy teeth are aligned and sit closely together in the mouth. The definition of diastema is when there is a space between the teeth. What is a diastema? It's essential to note that this is not the same as a gap caused by a missing tooth. Dental diastema can occur with any tooth, but it's commonly seen in the front teeth, specifically the upper incisors, where a gap forms between them. The long and short: the meaning of diastema is a gap between teeth.

A young girl with diastema playing games

Why am I getting a gap in my front teeth? The causes of diastema

Several factors, such as genetics, family inheritance, and poor habits, can contribute to the causes of diastema and can explain why you have a gap in your teeth. Here are several reasons you may be asking yourself, “why do I have a gap in my teeth?” or “why am I getting a gap in my front teeth?”

Teeth are small in size

Small teeth in the jaw can be attributed to genetics, leading to insufficient space for all teeth, resulting in gaps between teeth (diastemas). If a family member has small teeth, you may have them too, and your children could inherit the same problem.

Jaw is larger than the teeth

An imbalance between jaw size and tooth size can also contribute to diastema in teeth. In this scenario, similar to the previous case, the gaps between teeth are not limited to a particular area and affect the overall dentition.

Dentist showing a model of teeth to a patient

Overdeveloped lip brace

An overdeveloped lip brace, also known as a gummy smile, can lead to diastema. Each of us has two labial frenums, which are tissues connecting the gum to the upper and lower lips.

However, if the upper labial frenum is overgrown, it can occupy an excessive amount of space in the gum, leading to the displacement of the two upper incisors and a gap between the front teeth.

Bad tongue habits

Persistent thumb sucking or pressing the tongue against the teeth can exert pressure on the teeth and lead to a gap between the front teeth.

Diastemas by age group

Diastemas in children

If you observe gaps between your child's teeth, there's no need to be alarmed! It's typical for there to be a gap in baby teeth, and no treatment is necessary during this phase. The same applies to toddlers' and children's front teeth. A front teeth gap in baby teeth happens because primary teeth are smaller than permanent teeth, and spacing is beneficial since it provides sufficient space for permanent teeth to grow in the future.

A child at the dentist

Diastemas in adults

After the eruption of permanent teeth, diastema can either be general or localized, as we have previously discussed. Treatment may be required for health or cosmetic purposes to close the gap between teeth.

Some adults opt for corrective measures for both aesthetic and practical reasons. The discomfort caused while eating due to food getting trapped between teeth more frequently is also a significant factor.

Is a diastema considered bad?

It's worth noting that not all cases of diastema are bad or pose a threat to oral health. However, in situations where it does, it's crucial to seek treatment without delay.

Diastema has the potential to cause an uneven distribution of force on teeth and jaw, leading to wear and tear of the enamel, gums, and bone structure over time, along with misaligned teeth.

Furthermore, gaps between teeth can cause discomfort while eating as food particles tend to accumulate between the teeth, and this can lead to the buildup of plaque, decay, and bad breath. To avoid these problems, it is imperative to maintain excellent oral hygiene and flossing habits.

How to close gaps in front teeth

Although the question "how to fix the gap in front teeth?" might seem straightforward, the answer primarily relies on the underlying cause of the issue. Therefore, it's vital to determine the root cause before prescribing a suitable and effective treatment to fix the gap in the front teeth.

Alt Text: Braces placed on the teeth to correct diastema

Crown for gap in teeth

In some cases of diastema, crowns can be a prompt and efficient solution to fix the gap in front teeth. They are recommended in situations where orthodontic treatment alone cannot address the issue. For instance, patients with small teeth (generalized gaps in front teeth) may need crowns on most teeth to achieve the desired aesthetic outcome.

Crowns for gaps in teeth can also fix localized gaps, such as those that cause a "black triangle" between teeth. These crowns are typically made of porcelain or composite material and matched to the color and size of the patient's teeth. It's essential to note that crowns work best when the teeth are already correctly aligned, and orthodontic treatment isn't necessary.

Frenectomy for diastema closure

This surgical procedure is a minimally invasive option for closing diastema. It involves adjusting the upper lip frenulum, which is often the cause of the gap between teeth.

Following the frenectomy for diastema procedure, many patients require additional orthodontic treatment to correct the position of their teeth, particularly the incisors.

Diastema closure with orthodontics

The majority of cases of diastema require orthodontic treatment to eliminate the gaps between teeth. In some instances, a combination of treatments may be necessary to achieve optimal results, such as orthodontics and crowns, frenectomy and orthodontics, and others.

There are various orthodontic options available today to address tooth spacing, including metal brackets, ceramic brackets, clear brackets, lingual braces, and clear aligners. The duration of orthodontic treatment for diastema is determined by the complexity of each individual case.

How to fix gap in front teeth without braces

Clear aligners provide an effective and inconspicuous way to fix gaps in front teeth without braces. They are virtually invisible, so nobody will notice you wearing braces while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Furthermore, they are removable, giving you complete freedom to eat and brush your teeth.

A pair of clear aligners which can be used to correct diastema

At Impress, we specialize in invisible orthodontics and have over 15 years of experience in the field. We use cutting-edge technology to design our clear aligner treatments to ensure the best possible results for our patients. Our prices are transparent and affordable, and your complimentary consultation, which includes 3D scans and X-rays, is completely free.

If you want to regain confidence in your smile and improve your oral health, please visit our website to schedule your complimentary consultation.

We can't wait to meet you at our nearest clinic.

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Frequently asked questions

Is a gap in front teeth a trend?

Although a gap in front teeth has been a trend by some top models, it is important to note that not all cases of dental spacing are solely an aesthetic concern. Some cases can be related to health problems, and it is crucial to address these issues by providing a suitable solution to correct the dental irregularity.

How can you fix gap teeth fast?

Dental crowns are considered the fastest solution to fixing gap teeth. It is important to determine what the underlying cause of the diastema is before deciding on treatment. It is highly recommended to consult with your dentist before taking action.

Do gaps in teeth get bigger with age?

Whether gaps in teeth get bigger with age depends on the original cause of the diastema.

Are teeth gaps genetic?

Yes, sometimes gaps in teeth are genetic.

Does a pacifier cause a gap in teeth?

Pacifiers can cause a gap in teeth. Children who use pacifiers may develop issues with their teeth later on, including gaps between the front top and lower teeth.

Do wisdom teeth close gaps?

The eruption of wisdom teeth does not lead to closed gaps in teeth or the closure of diastemas.

Do retainers close gaps in teeth?

No—retainers are made to maintain the positioning of your teeth as they are now, they do not close gaps in teeth.

Does gap teeth affect speech?

For some people gap teeth can affect speech. Severe cases of gap teeth can cause lisps and speech impediments.


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