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What is a Diastema?

What do Madonna, Anna Paquin, Woody Harrelson, Michael Strahan, Elijah Wood, and Lauren Hutton all have in common? They all have a large gap between their two front teeth. Dentists call this gap a diastema.

What Causes Diastemas?

Diastemas usually occur between the two major front teeth on top, which is why they are so noticeable. They can appear between any other two teeth, but those cases are seldom so obvious. When there is a mismatch between the size of a person’s jawbone and the size of their teeth, extra space between the teeth can result. Another reason for a diastema is an oversized labial frenum. That is that little piece of tissue that starts on the inside of your upper lip and ends up on your gum just above your two front teeth. If the labial frenum continues to grow, it blocks the closure of the space between the teeth, resulting in a gap.

Bad habits also contribute to gaps in the teeth, such as thumb or finger sucking or an improper swallowing motion known as tongue thrust. The correct place for your tongue when you swallow is against the roof of your mouth. In people with tongue thrust, the tongue is pressed against their front teeth with every swallow, creating pressure that can move their teeth over time.

Should I Fix My Diastema?

What should you do if you have a gap between your teeth? The first step is to discuss the cause with your dentist at the Yuba City Dentistry Group. If it is caused by tongue thrust, it is important to stop the problem with therapy, as your teeth will only get worse with time. If you just have a natural gap between your teeth, you can discuss with your dentist the benefits of Invisalign to close the gap. Another option is using veneers to create slightly larger teeth, which will also fix the gap.

A final choice for dealing with a diastema is to become so famous that the gap between your teeth is one of your trademarks. This method has certainly worked for the well-known ladies and gentlemen mentioned above! Whatever you decide to do about that space between your teeth, remember that the most important aspect of a great smile is good dental health. If your teeth are healthy, clean and strong, your smile will exude confidence and poise, whether your diastema is famous or not.

Jul 5, 2018 | Oral Health

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