A gap between teeth may be popular as a symbol of luck and beauty in many cultures; it is known as Diastema in the dental world. Regardless of your age, you can develop a gap between your teeth — and sometimes, it is noticeable. While it may be taken as an aesthetic concern only, diastema can actually pose serious underlying concerns for many people. In this blog, we will discuss the possible causes, treatments, and symptoms of this phenomenon.
Gap in Teeth Causes
Firstly, let us discuss why diastema occurs. Here are a few reasons why you may have a gap in your teeth:
- Natural Growth: Many times, gapped teeth develop naturally as children grow up, especially when they reach the age between 6 to 8 years old.
- Abnormal Attributes of the Tooth: Diastema can result from abnormal shape, size, or location of the teeth. The unusual physical attribute prevents the teeth from getting the required pressure and support from each other. The teeth drift apart since they do not bite together properly, forming a gap.
- Missing Teeth: When teeth are underdeveloped, or the teeth surrounding the upper lateral incisors are missing, diastema takes place. You may notice a gap between your front teeth.
- Outgrown Labial Frenum: The tissue covering the inside of the upper lip and the gum above the upper front teeth sometimes outgrows, forming a space between teeth.
- Incorrect Swallowing Reflex: If your tongue presses and pushes against the front teeth while swallowing, it means your swallowing reflex is improper and needs to be corrected. Otherwise, the constant pressure causes gaps between teeth.
- Wrong Habits: Biting lower lips and thumb-sucking are some factors that also cause diastema in kids. Tongue piercing, too, forms gaps between adult teeth.
- Losing Baby Teeth: When the baby teeth fall, it may cause a gap between teeth that slowly closes on its own when the permanent one comes in. Losing permanent teeth also leaves spaces, and you will need a restorative procedure to close the gap.
- Gum Disease: If your gums have developed periodontal disease, it may cause gaps in teeth along with other symptoms. Visit a periodontist right away!
Signs You Have Diastema
The obvious gap between teeth is enough indication of diastema, but here are a few other symptoms:
- Gum recession
- Swelling and tenderness in gums
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Mobile or loose teeth
- Redness in gums
How to Fix a Gap in Teeth
Diastema requires dental attention if it makes you self-conscious or indicates serious issues. Here are some ways your dentist can fix a gap in your teeth:
- Braces: Orthodontic treatments such as braces can work by applying slight yet constant pressure on the teeth, moving them in the right positions. Invisalign also shows prominent results for gaps in teeth!
- Veneers: Another effective treatment for gaps in teeth is dental veneers. The thin material is attached to the surface of the teeth, fixing diastema and restoring your smile.
- Dental Implants: If you have lost your permanent teeth, dental implants are considered the best replacement, given that you’re eligible.
- Gum Disease Treatment: A gap in teeth might be a sign of periodontal disease, and your periodontist will need to treat it accordingly. Therefore, they will start by addressing gum disease and fix any other issues after that.
- Dental Bonding: Your dentist might recommend dental bonding if the gap is due to one or more smaller teeth.
You may notice a gap in your teeth due to incorrect swallowing reflex, missing teeth, the shape of the tooth, or serious issues such as gum disease. A good dental professional will be able to determine the cause and proceed with the most suitable treatment.