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Teeth space (diastema)

A diastema is a gap between the teeth. It is not harmful, and it appears in children and adults. In children, the gap typically closes when their permanent teeth come through. A diastema is a gap between teeth that is wider than 0.5 millimeters . It can develop between any teeth.

A diastema, commonly referred to as a gap between the teeth, is a unique dental characteristic that can be observed in both children and adults. While not considered harmful, it often prompts curiosity and can impact an individual’s self-esteem. At New Smiles Dental Clinic, we recognize the significance of addressing diastema to enhance both oral health and confidence. This article delves into the causes, considerations, and treatment options for diastema, emphasizing our commitment to providing comprehensive dental care.

Understanding Diastema:

Diastema is characterized by a noticeable gap between two teeth, typically wider than 0.5 millimeters. This gap can occur between any set of teeth but is most commonly observed between the upper front teeth. In children, diastema is a common occurrence, and it often resolves itself as permanent teeth emerge. However, in some cases, diastema may persist into adulthood, posing aesthetic concerns for individuals.

Causes of Diastema:

  1. Genetics: Genetic factors play a significant role in the development of diastema. Inherited traits may contribute to the size and spacing of teeth, leading to the presence of gaps.
  2. Oversized Labial Frenulum: The labial frenulum, the tissue that extends from the inside of the upper lip to the gum, can be oversized. This may restrict the natural closing of the gap between the upper front teeth.
  3. Missing or Undersized Teeth: Gaps may also result from missing or undersized teeth. The size and shape of teeth contribute to the overall alignment and spacing within the dental arch.
  4. Periodontal Disease: Gum disease can lead to the loss of bone tissue, affecting the stability and positioning of teeth. This can contribute to the development of diastema.

Considerations for Children:

It’s crucial to recognize that diastema is a common occurrence during childhood. As children go through the transition from primary to permanent teeth, gaps may naturally close. Monitoring a child’s dental development and consulting with a pediatric dentist can provide valuable insights into whether intervention is necessary.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

  1. Orthodontic Intervention: For individuals with persistent diastema, orthodontic treatments such as braces or clear aligners can effectively close the gap. This approach involves gently shifting the position of the teeth to achieve a more aligned smile.
  2. Dental Bonding: Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure where a tooth-colored resin is applied to the teeth, closing the gap and enhancing the overall appearance.
  3. Dental Veneers: Veneers are thin shells that are custom-made to cover the front surface of teeth. They can be used to address diastema and provide a natural-looking, uniform smile.
  4. Surgical Options: In cases where diastema is caused by an oversized labial frenulum, a simple surgical procedure known as a frenectomy may be recommended to remove or adjust the frenulum.
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