Diastema is a condition mainly characterized by a gap between teeth. Some people might have small and barely noticeable gaps, while others can develop prominent gaps between their two front teeth. Though most cases of diastema don’t usually lead to health problems or infection, it can become an embarrassing cosmetic issue for some people. Thankfully, there are several treatments that can fill in the vacant gaps left between teeth.
What Causes Diastema?
Genetics can determine your chances of developing diastema. If your teeth are too small to properly fit your jawbone, gaps can form between them. You can also develop diastema if one of your teeth is smaller than the ones beside it. Of course, gaps can also develop if you’ve lost one of your teeth due to accidents or dental health problems.
Another cause of diastema is an overgrowth of gum tissue. Specifically, gum tissue between your gum line and upper front teeth. When gum tissue grows too much, it can cause your teeth to separate from each other and form a gap in between.
Besides genetic factors, certain actions can also increase your chances of developing diastema. When you push your tongue against your front teeth instead of letting it rest on the roof of your mouth while swallowing, the resulting pressure can cause the teeth to separate. Children who suck their thumbs often can also force pressure on their teeth in the same way and develop diastema later on.
Gum disease is another contributing factor to diastema. When gum tissues weaken and become inflamed, teeth can detach and fall out of the mouth. The best way to keep this problem from happening is to practice proper oral hygiene through regular brushing and flossing, as well as scrubbing away dirt and bacteria with a good dental scaler.
Treatment Options For Diastema
If you’d like to get rid of a rather prominent case of diastema, there are several treatment options your dentist can provide.
- Braces: Braces can move or adjust teeth so that they aren’t too far apart. If you plan on fixing your diastema using this treatment, do note that you’ll have to wear a full set of braces instead of just one or two pieces to make the most of this treatment. You’ll also need to wear braces for at least 6 months, and sometimes even a few years, depending on the severity of your diastema. After you finish wearing braces, you’ll need to wear retainers in order to keep your teeth from moving apart again.
- Veneers: Veneers can be used to fill in small gaps between your teeth, as well as chips and cracks on the surface. When you get veneers, your dentist will fill in gaps using composites made of porcelain or plastic material. You’ll be able to use your veneers for up to 30 years so long as you properly maintain it and practice proper oral hygiene.
- Bonding: Though dental bonding is usually reserved for repairing chipped and cracked teeth, it can also be used to treat diastema. During this procedure, your dentist will use plastic resin to widen teeth and reduce gaps in between.
- Dental Implants: Dental implants are often used in cases where the gap is caused by missing teeth. When you get dental implants, your dentist surgically inserts metal posts or frames into your jawbone. Once the frames have been put in place, your dentist will then fit replacement teeth over them.
- Surgery: If you’ve developed gaps because of oversized gums, you can remove excess gum tissue through surgery. Once your gums have returned to normal size, you can then fully close those gaps using braces. You’ll also need to treat severe gum problems with surgery first before you can have your diastema fixed.
Do I Need To Get My Diastema Fixed?
Like most cosmetic issues, diastema doesn’t cause serious harm to your dental and overall health. The choice to have your diastema treated ultimately depends on your own personal preferences. If you’re having a tough time adjusting to life after losing one or a few teeth, treating your diastema might be the best option. On the other hand, if your diastema isn’t really causing you any serious problems, you can opt-out of treatment and leave your teeth as is.
Proper dental hygiene is important whether or not you’re dealing with cosmetic dental issues. When you don’t get rid of nasty germs, dirt, and bacteria, your teeth and gums can become too weak and damaged to fulfill their proper everyday functions. Your use of braces or whitening products won’t produce any fruitful results so long as harmful substances continue to gather and multiply every day.
Brushing and flossing aren’t always enough. Dirt and bacteria can gather in places where your toothbrush and floss simply can’t reach. However, cleaning your teeth with a dental scaler after brushing can keep your teeth in top shape and prevent any serious problems from ruining your day. Our online store offers a great dental scaler that’s easy and convenient for anyone to use, so why not try one today?