Diastema. Sounds serious, doesn’t it? But actually, it’s just the proper name given to a common, and pretty straightforward, dental issue – a gap between two teeth.
But whilst the issue might be relatively innocuous in dental terms, it can be so much more than that to those who have a diastema.
Yes, there are people who rock dental differences, loving the fact that a diastema characterises their look. Take Madonna, for example – it’s hard to picture her without her trademark gap. For others, though, it can be the source of anguish. A cosmetic flaw, which – typically forming between the front two teeth – can’t easily be ignored.
Fed up with your diastema? Here the team at the Harley Street Smile Clinic take a detailed look at this condition, its causes, and most crucially, what you can do to close the gap.
What causes diastema?
To be a noticeable diastema, the gap between two teeth is usually wider than 0.5mm. They can form anywhere in the mouth, but commonly appear between the two front teeth.
There’s no singular cause, rather a range of contributing factors. These include:
- Tooth and jawbone size
Teeth that are comparatively small in relation to jawbone size can result in gaps forming. We tend to inherit tooth and jawbone size genetically from our parents, which is why you’ll often find that diastema run in the family.
If teeth are irregular in size, or you have some missing, this can also cause spacing problems.
- Too much tissue
Labial frenum – the tissue that borders the gum line and connects your lip above the two upper front teeth – can force a gap between teeth if too much of it forms.
- Bad habits
Were you a thumb sucker in your youth? Guilty of nervously chewing on your lips? Any bad habits that put pressure on teeth, particularly those at the front, can lead to unwanted gaps.
- Swallowing reflexes
When you swallow, what does your tongue do? Naturally go to the roof of your mouth or push against your front teeth?
Whilst this might not sound like a big deal, if your tongue is heading forwards it could be putting too much pressure on teeth, which can force a gap to appear over time.
- Gum disease
Do your gums look red and swollen? Do they bleed when you brush? This could be a sign of gum disease, which can lead to developing diastema in later life.
If the gum surrounding teeth is weakened, it will no longer offer sufficient support. This results in movement, so openings can appear.
How to fix your diastema
The good news is, there are numerous ways you can close a diastema.
Two of the most favoured options include:
Braces are often used to tackle diastema and even out the spacing between teeth. They work by applying constant pressure. Over time, this pressure moves teeth into a more favourable position and closes any gaps.
Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? But traditional braces can feel like switching one problem for another. Brace wearers are often just as insecure about flashing wires and brackets as they were about their tooth gap.
Thankfully, there is an alternative – Invisalign.
Working in much the same way as braces, Invisalign is a clear aligner that is so unobtrusive it’s virtually invisible. Whilst it needs to be worn for around 22 hours a day, you do have the flexibility to remove it should you wish. Just one of the many reasons it’s such a popular treatment.
Veneers are the treatment of choice for an array of cosmetic dental concerns – including gaps!
By delicately applying a thin layer of porcelain to the front of each tooth, veneers can not only even out gaps, but they can also hide uneven, chipped, and crooked teeth. Not to mention the fact that they can also correct problems with yellowing and discolouration!
Close the gap with the Smile Clinic
Want to find out more about cosmetic dental treatments to close diastema? Then chat with the experts here at the Harley Street Smile Clinic.
Specialising in a range of procedures, we deal with gaps in teeth on a daily basis – and we’re confident we can help you.
Why not take advantage of our free e-consultation and we’ll happily offer our expert opinion on the right course of action to perfect your smile? Simply upload a photo of your problem gap and we’ll get back to you with details of the best treatment options available and a personalised quote.