What Is Diastema (Gap between teeth) | Reduce Gap b/w Teeth
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What Is diastema (Gap between teeth) ?
A diastema is a space or gap between the teeth. It is seen more often between the two upper front teeth. However, gaps can be seen among any two teeth.
A mismatch among the size of the teeth and the size of the jaw bones can cause either crowding of teeth or extra space between teeth. Teeth will be crowded if they are too big for the jaw. In case the teeth are too small for the jaw bone, spaces between the teeth will occur.
Spaces are seen to develop due to some other reasons as well.
Sometimes due to the uneven formation or absence of teeth. This is mostly seen with the upper lateral incisors; the teeth next to the two upper front teeth. Due to which space is developed in the upper central incisors.
A diastema may also result due to an over sized labial frenum.
The labial frenum is the tissue that normally extends from the inside of the upper lip to the gum right above the two upper front teeth. In certain situations, the labial frenum develops persistently and passes between the two front teeth. While this happens, it jams the natural closing of the space between these teeth.
A more common reason that we could always debate on is our habit, which can also lead to the gap between teeth. For instance, when children’s grow habits like thumb-sucking which tends to pull the front teeth forward, developing gaps.
Incorrect swallowing reflex can also be one of the reasons behind developing the gap among the teeth. In most cases, while swallowing the tongue is pressed against the roof of the mouth (palate). In certain cases, the people develop a different swallowing moment known as a tongue thrust. While swallowing, they press their tongue against the front teeth. Due to the pressure, the front teeth are gradually pushed forward. This can create gaps among the teeth.
As a consequence of Periodontal (gum) disease, the bones that support the teeth are supposedly lost. The teeth can become loose in people who have lost a lot of bone. Which can then develop gaps among the front teeth.
Children may develop temporary gaps as their baby teeth fall out. Most of which are covered after the permanent teeth grow-up.
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A diastema that develops due to a mismatch between the jaw and the teeth do not have symptoms. Although, gaps developed by periodontal disease or a tongue thrust habit will tend to increase or grow with time. The teeth may become loose, and cause pain and discomfort, particularly while chewing or biting.
The gap between teeth is easily identifiable, i.e., you might see it while brushing, flossing or just by carefully looking at your teeth. In case you miss this, routine dental checkups might help in the identification of spaces.
Can this deformation be corrected?
If the gap has developed due to an irregularity among the jaw and teeth size, the gap is expected to remain throughout life.
Also, the gaps developed due to periodontal disease or tongue thrust habit is supposed to increase with time.
Not all deformities can be adjusted. For example, if the reason behind gaps is the mismatch between the jaw and teeth size or a missing tooth, the gaps between the teeth cannot be prevented without treatment.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for the health of your gum. Systematic brushing and flossing will help in preventing periodontal disease and other issues related to bone loss in gums.
Individuals with a tongue thrust habit can correct their habit of swallowing by pushing their tongue up against their palate. Changing this habit can also prevent the broadening of the gaps between teeth.
If diastema is the part of a set of issues which require orthodontic treatment. Although in some cases, the diastema is the only problem. Whereas, people majorly seek dental treatment regarding their appearance.
Some individuals get braces, which move the teeth together. Usually, regardless of where the gap is, you still have to wear a full set of braces — on both your lower and upper teeth. That’s because any moment among the teeth affects your entire mouth.
If a person’s lateral incisors are too small, the dentist may recommend broadening them with crowns, bonding or veneers.
If you have a gap because of a missing tooth, a more extensive dental treatment might be required. This might include a bridge, dental implants or a partial denture.
If a gap is developed due to a large labial frenum, a surgery called frenectomy can be performed to reduce the gap. In the case of infants, when a frenectomy is performed, the gap may fill on its own. But when performed in an older child or an adult, braces will be needed to close the gap.
If the deformity or space is developed by periodontal disease, then it is recommended to get the required periodontal treatment by a periodontist (gum specialist) or dentist. In many cases when gum health is restored, braces are used to move the teeth to its right place. A splint can be used on the inner side of the teeth to other teeth with wire and composite (plastic) for stability. In some instances, a bridge may be required to close the spaces.
When do you need professional help?
Now that you have recently noticed a gap developing between your teeth, it is when you need to get an appointment from your dentist. The dentist will then determine the cause behind the newly formed or already existing space and in some case might refer you to a specialist in treatment with braces, an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that every child needs professional assistance from an orthodontist by age 7. In case the treatment is necessary, although it may not begin right away. Your orthodontist will discuss the overall treatment procedure with you.
If the developed gap is due to periodontal disease, then your dentist will supposedly refer you to a periodontist.
If a dental repair or your orthodontics close the gap or diastema, space will undoubtedly stay closed. However, wear your retainers as directed by your orthodontist to help prevent the gaps from developing again. Your orthodontist may also attach (splint) the inner side of the teeth to other teeth with wire and composite (plastic) for stability.
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