Diastema What You Need To Know

Did you know diastema could be a symptom of gum disease? Yes, it can.

As impossible as it is to believe, a person might have diastema due to gum disease. However, other factors cause this. Diastema is a gap between the teeth. This can happen between any of your teeth. Because of its position, it is most noticeable when there is a gap between your upper front teeth.

The gap in the lower teeth is called Mandibular Diastema, and when it is in the front two teeth, it is called Median Diastema or midline.

Diastema affects both adults and children, and the gaps in children disappear as soon as their permanent teeth begin to grow. Some gaps are barely noticeable because they are small, whereas others are huge and cause cosmetic issues.

Causes of diastema

There are numerous causes of diastema.

A combination of the following factors could cause a gap between your teeth:


A mismatch between the size of the teeth and the size of the jaw can cause diastema. If the teeth are too small or the jaws are too large, there will be enough space in the mouth to generate an alignment problem. As a result, the teeth will not align properly.

Poor habits

Diastema can be caused by various unhealthy habits, including poor dental hygiene, which can lead to gum disease, tongue thrusting, and thumb sucking. Children who suck their thumbs are more likely to develop diastema because the act puts pressure on the front teeth, causing a gap between them and causing them to shift forward.

Thumb sucking usually results in a midline Diastema because most pressure is applied there. These habits should be corrected in children to avoid long-term consequences.

Extra tissues

Diastema can be caused by extra tissues growing above the teeth in the mouth. A frenum is a flap of skin that grows between your lips and your top front teeth; this tissue can sometimes overgrow and cause diastema. It will create a gap between your two upper front teeth by pushing them apart.

Reflexes for swallowing

Diastema can be caused by improper swallowing reflexes, such as tongue thrusting, resulting in mandibular diastema if the tongue constantly pushes against the lower teeth when swallowing.

The tongue may also press against the front teeth. This habit may appear harmless, but prolonged pressure on the front teeth causes separation and gaps between teeth.

Gum disease

Tooth migration is a common symptom of advanced gum disease.

In people with gum disease, inflammation damages the bone that supports the teeth.

Teeth may eventually become loose, and gaps may appear.

Symptoms of diastema

A gap between your teeth is the only sign of diastema. There are usually no other symptoms if your teeth and gums are healthy. However, you may experience pain, redness, swelling, or other gum disease symptoms if gum disease has caused a gap between your teeth.

Treatment for a gap between the teeth

Treatment for diastema may not be required, mainly if the gap is caused by the loss of primary teeth or by a mismatch between the size of the jawbone and the teeth.

A dentist can advise on the best action if a person wishes to close the gap for cosmetic reasons.

Among the treatment options are:

  • Braces
  • Veneers or bonding
  • Surgery
  • Dental bridge
  • Dental implants

Treatment of gum disease

Gum disease necessitates treatment to stop the infection and avoid complications like tooth loss.

Scaling may be used to remove tartar from the gums. Scaling also gets rid of the bacteria that are causing the infection. In addition, topical or oral antibiotics may be beneficial.

Surgery may be required in severe cases to remove deep tartar from beneath the gums.

Once the gums have recovered, the dentist may use one of the treatments mentioned above to close the gap.

Prevention of diastema

Not all diastemas can be avoided. However, there are a few steps you can take to limit your chances of getting one:

  • Help your child break any bad habits, such as thumb-sucking.
  • To prevent gum disease, brush your teeth twice daily and floss once daily.
  • Schedule regular cleanings with your dentist. Even if you brush and floss regularly, you may only be able to remove some of the plaque. Only during your dental cleaning will hardened plaque be removed.

Gaps between teeth are not a medical concern unless they affect your appearance or cause discomfort, in which case you should see a dentist to determine the best way to fix it.

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