Is a gap between two teeth, usually between the two maxillary incisors. It can be caused by many factors such as missing teeth, oversized labial frenulum, periodontal disease, bad habits. It can be treated differently depending on the cause. A gap can appear at any age, but it is most commonly present in early age. It can also be present between any two teeth and anywhere in the mouth. Some people even have several gaps both in the upper and lower jaws.
Reasons for Diastema:
There are several factors that can cause the appearance of diastema or a gap between two teeth.
The first one is genetics. We inherit the size of the jaws from one parent and the size of the teeth from the other one. Some people simply inherit large jaws with small teeth, which results with spacing. It can appear anywhere in the mouth. Diastema is a hereditary thing, so if one of your parents had it, the chances are that you might also have it. Some people can be born with atypical teeth, for example very small lateral incisors. That can also lead to gaps.
The second common reason is the extraction of a tooth. Once a tooth is removed, it leaves an empty gap. Other teeth tend to move towards the empty space which results in a spacing between the teeth. That is why every removed tooth should be treated with a proper restoration in time and the gap should be closed to avoid migration of surrounding teeth.
Periodontal disease is another factor that can lead to diastema. Because of this condition, teeth can become loose and migrate. People often lose a number of teeth in their mouth which creates spaces and makes things even worse. Unfortunately, the periodontal disease appears very common among people, and these diastemas are very hard to treat.
Oversized Labial Frenulum:
This is surgically treated with a very simple and easy procedure.
Bad habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting can often cause diastemas. That is why they should be treated immediately, and kids should wear functional appliances to fix the problem.
The treatment always depends on the reason. If you notice that your child has gaps, or that you have them, you should turn to your dentist. Once you’ve determined the real reason, the treatment options include orthodontic treatment, composite restorations, veneers, crowns, and bridges. For kids, orthodontic treatment is the way to go.
Some types of diastema cannot be prevented. If the gaps are caused by genetics, there is nothing to prevent. But when the factors include periodontal diseases and habits there is a proper way to prevent them. For example, gum disease is prevented with proper oral hygiene. Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing is very important. If the patient is already suffering from a periodontal disease they should immediately contact a dentist. Bad habits happen usually at an early age. Once you notice your child is doing something repeatedly you can act before it turns into a habit.