Even if you had braces as a teen, you may find that time hasn’t worked in your favor. Without the consistent use of a retainer, teeth often move even after years of orthodontic treatment, which can result in an unsightly gap in teeth that is only charming on select supermodels.
Diastema is the medical term for an exaggerated gap in teeth, which are fairly common in both children and adults. Typically, they are relatively harmless and are simply a result of genetic or habitual factors. In these cases, it is primarily a cosmetic issue. Diastema only becomes a medical issue when it is a result of advanced gum disease. In these cases, you should consult with your dentist as soon as possible.
Genetic and Habitual Factors
Experts reports that the genetic and habitual factors that cause a gap in teeth vary widely from person to person. In a professionally reviewed article, Healthline lists some of the possible causes, including:
- Size: In some patients, their teeth are naturally too small for their jaw bone, resulting in gaps between teeth. This is often the reason for increased rates in diastema among children, who often outgrow the condition once their adult teeth have finished replacing their baby teeth. In other cases, the adult teeth remain too small to fill the jaw completely. Typically, this results in fairly even gaps between the teeth.
- Overgrowth: In patients who have a noticeable gap between their two front teeth, an overgrowth of the frenulum between the upper lip and gum line is to blame. The tissue’s growth actively blocks the two front teeth from growing close together, resulting in a noticeable gap. In these cases, the removal of the extra tissue is necessary before further steps can be taken.
- Thumb Sucking: This is a habit that often begins in childhood but can affect the position of the teeth into adulthood. The constant pressure caused by thumb sucking in addition to the pressure of the thumb placed behind the front teeth, pushes them forward over time, resulting in a gap as well as a noticeable protrusion of the teeth.
- Swallowing: Another habit-based cause, the inappropriate placement of the tongue while swallowing is equally likely to create a gap over time as well as some forward movement in the top teeth. In these cases, the patient is in the habit of pushing their tongue against their teeth when they swallow, rather than pushing their tongue into the roof of their mouth.
Fixing a Gap in Teeth
If you aren’t a supermodel, you most likely don’t find a gap in teeth all that charming. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to address the issue. At Dental Care of Pomona, Bhavin Changela, DDS offers his patients three time-tested ways to say goodbye to the gaps in their teeth.
- Invisalign offers the benefits of braces without aesthetic embarrassment. Using a series of clear, plastic aligners, Invisalign offers patients a discreet way to slowly move their teeth into the correct position, eliminating gaps and separating crowded teeth into the smile you’ve always wanted.
- Bonding uses a resin to fill gaps or holes in your teeth. The procedure is quick and painless. Most patients do not even require an anesthetic. Plus, the resin comes in a vast variety of colors, allowing Dr. Changela to find your perfect shade.
- Veneers are the real deal in the world of cosmetic dentistry. Less invasive than crowns, they essentially thin shells that are placed over the visible teeth to hide any misshapen or discolored teeth. They ensure a perfect smile and allow the patient to choose from a wide variety of natural colors to pick the level of whiteness that suits them best. There are two types: ceramic and composite veneers. Your dentist will use the condition of your teeth to decide which is best suited to your needs.
Summing it Up
In short, diastema is a common problem that you shouldn’t be ashamed of. However, if your confidence would be boosted by a gap-less smile, then there are a number of options available to you at Dental Care of Pomona where your needs and comfort are their top priority.