Diastema: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods for Gaps Between Teeth
Diastema refers to teeth misalignment where there is a gap between two adjacent teeth. While these gaps can occur between any two sets of teeth, diastema typically refers to a gap between the front ones. This condition is also known as midline diastema. These gaps can be either small or quite visibly large and usually don’t affect oral health.
However, in many cases, diastema has proven to be a major symptom of gum disease. Both adults and children face diastema in different forms. In the case of children, the between teeth usually get closed once they age. However, in case the gaps widen further or stay the same even in adulthood, it is highly recommended to get in touch with your dentist.
Causes of Diastema
Like several other teeth misalignment conditions, diastema sometimes occurs genetically. This condition runs from one generation to another and can also be sometimes caused by teeth not growing back, teeth that are too small, and irregular frenum size. A frenum is a series of tissues that connect our lips to gums and play a big role in the shape and size of the teeth.
Apart from these, diastema can also occur due to improper swallowing and childhood habits. If any of these acts involve pressing your teeth firmly against your teeth, they may drift apart causing diastema. Advanced gum diseases are also a major cause of diastema. Due to gum disease, our jawbones get eroded causing improper teeth alignment.
Symptoms of Diastema
Wide gaps between teeth are the biggest sign of diastema in both children and adults. Apart from this common symptom, diastema can also be detected by swollen and tender gums, receding gums, bleeding, and bright red gums. Bad breath and loose teeth are other symptoms of diastema. Extreme pain in the teeth can also be a sign of diastema and any display of the above symptoms must be immediately brought to your dentist’s notice. Diastema can be diagnosed by routine teeth and gum inspection and no further tests are required.
Treatment for Diastema
Treatment for Diastema is optional in case of baby teeth falling out. However, if the tooth gap persists even in adulthood, it must be tended to and appropriate measures must be taken to bridge the gap between teeth. There are various treatment methods available for diastema and you may opt for any of them depending on the severity of the condition.
- Veneers – Veneers are made up of porcelain and are placed on the surface of your teeth to align them properly. Veneers are custom-made as per the patient’s teeth shape and are particularly helpful for diastema caused by undersized teeth.
- Braces – Braces are one of the most commonly used treatment methods for diastema. Dentists use braces to move teeth in the desired position to treat diastema.
- Invisible braces– Invisible braces are a perfect solution for those seeking aesthetics as well as functionality. Invisible braces are custom-made trays of plastic that push the teeth together to give the desired position to your teeth. These braces/ aligners are easy to use, pain-free, and provide visible results in a short time.
- Dental Implants – Also known as dental bridges, this mode of treatment bridges the gap between the teeth by inserting a metal screw in your jawbones. This replaces the missing tooth root and once the alignment issue is healed, a dental crown is used to bridge the gap and fix the tooth gap issue.
- Gum disease treatment – Diastema can also be caused due to poor gum health and in such cases, dentists first fix the issue of gums. If left untreated, the infection may spread to other parts and cause major damage to your dental health. Gum disease treatment for diastema mainly involves the removal of tartar from gums.
Diastema can be treated with timely treatment and by maintaining proper oral hygiene. While the genetic issues related to diastema can’t be prevented, a healthy lifestyle and better dental hygiene can take us a long way in maintaining proper teeth alignment.
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