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What Is Diastema?


What is diastema? Simply put, it’s a gap between your teeth, specifically your central incisors. So if you have a large gap between your teeth, you have diastema! 

But what causes diastema? Is it unhealthy or bad? And how can a dentist like Dr. Brett Blacher help? Find out now in this blog post from the office of Brett Blacher, DDS.

What Causes Diastema?

There are a lot of different things that can cause or contribute to the formation of a diastema. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common factors:

  • Normal growth – Diastema is very common in young kids. The gap between their front teeth usually closes around the ages of 6-8 as the nearby upper canines form and emerge, pushing the front teeth closer together.
  • Excessive tissue growth near the gum line – If a lot of tissue grows near the gum line by your front teeth, this can get between the teeth and cause a diastema to form.
  • Size, shape, and position of your teeth – Depending on the unique shape, size, and position of your teeth, a diastema could form. For example, if your upper canines are not in the proper position, this could cause a gap to form between your front teeth.
  • Bad habits during childhood – As your teeth develop as a child, certain habits like sucking on pacifiers or improper tongue placement could place pressure on your upper front teeth, causing a diastema as well as other bite problems.
  • Genetic factors – Diastema tends to run in families, like many other conditions affecting the teeth. If lots of people in your family have a diastema, you may be more likely to develop a gap between your teeth.
  • Gum disease – In rare cases, severe gum disease can cause your teeth to shift, move, and loosen. If you notice a gap in your teeth and are noticing other signs of gum disease, like bleeding when brushing, bad breath, gum recession, and tender or swollen gums, this could be the cause of the issue.

Is Diastema Harmful?

No! On its own, diastema is not harmful. A gap between your front teeth won’t interfere with your ability to speak, eat, or smile, or cause complications with your oral health.

There are some exceptions, though. If your diastema is caused by gum disease, you need to get help from Dr. Blacher right away. Gum disease is the #1 cause of premature tooth loss, so you should get treatment right away.

Diastema can also sometimes indicate other problems with your bite alignment and your teeth. For example, you may also have an underbite or an overbite. If that’s the case, getting treatment with orthodontics may improve both your appearance and your oral health.

How Can Dentists Correct Diastema?

As mentioned, diastema is usually not harmful. But some patients dislike how it makes them look, and want to improve the appearance of their teeth. So there are a few different options for dentists to correct diastema:

  • Braces or Invisalign – Braces or Invisalign can be used to shift your teeth and close the gap between your front teeth. They can also improve the overall alignment of your jaw and your teeth, so they’re a great option if you have both a diastema and other problems with your bite.
  • Dental bonding – Dental bonding involves adding a small amount of dental resin to build up your tooth, and close the gap between your front teeth. This is a fast, affordable option for treating diastema. 
  • Porcelain veneers Veneers are also a common treatment for diastema. They are thin, tooth-shaped shells of porcelain that are placed over your front teeth after they’ve been trimmed. A set of veneers can completely cover up your front teeth and close the gap between them.

Your Treatment Options In Lombard At The Office Of Dr. Brett Blacher

If you have a gap between your front teeth and you’re not happy with your smile, Dr. Brett Blacher is here to help. To explore your options for diastema treatment in Lombard, just give us a call at (630) 916-0701, or contact us online. We’re always accepting new patients, so take the first steps toward the smile you’ve always wanted today!

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