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What Is A Diastema?

September 23, 2021

Do you have a gap between your front teeth? If so, you’re certainly not alone. This is called diastema, and it appears frequently enough that dentists consider it to be a normal developmental occurrence in children. However, it can sometimes persist into adulthood. Though it’s not harmful, some people may not like the way it makes their smile look and feel embarrassed about it. Luckily, there are several ways to close the gap.

What Is a Diastema and How Does It happen?

A diastema is a gap between the teeth that’s wider than 0.5 millimeters. It can appear in both children and adults, but it usually closes when a person’s permanent teeth come in. It can be caused by a variety of factors including:

  • Teeth that are missing, undersized, or too small in relation to the jawbone
  • Oversized labial frenum, or the tissue that extends from the gum above the upper front teeth to the inside of the upper lip
  • Incorrect swallowing reflex causing someone to push their tongue against their front teeth when they swallow which pushes them forward and causes a gap to form over time
  • Gum disease leading to lose teeth
  • Habits such as lip sucking, thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting that put pressure on the front teeth

What You Can Do About a Diastema

While having a diastema can increase your risk of plaque buildup and enamel erosion, there are also several ways your dentist can close the gap if you just don’t like how it makes your smile look. If your gums are swollen, puffy, bright red or purple, bleed easily, or feel tender when touched, the diastema is likely caused by gum disease. Treatment will be necessary to stop the infection and prevent further complications. Veneers or lumineers can also be used to get rid of the gap. These options are similar in many ways, but lumineers are only temporary and can be removed if you decide you want to return to your original smile. If the diastema formed as a result of one or more missing teeth, dental implants or bridges may be the best option to fill in the gap in your smile.

There are a number of options for correcting the gap between your teeth, but the choice is ultimately up to you. Whether you decide you want to get rid of your diastema or to leave it right where it is, make sure you’re taking good care of your teeth to keep your smile as lovely as ever.

About the Author

By putting your trust in Rowlett Dental Associates, you and your family will be on your way to receiving the quality oral healthcare you deserve. Their friendly, talented staff takes a highly personalized approach to dentistry to make sure you feel valued and comfortable with the treatment you’re receiving. They treat patients of all ages and provide a variety of cosmetic dentistry services to help you achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of! For more information on how to get rid of gaps between your teeth, call Rowlett Dental Associates at 972) 635-4785 or visit their website.

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