A diastema refers to a space or gap between two teeth. The most common form of diastema is between the two upper front teeth. However, diastema can be between any two teeth.
Some individuals may have multiple gaps between teeth, and this can be seen on upper jaw, lower jaw or both jaws.
The maxillary labial frenum is a string of fibrous tissue that sits between the two upper front teeth. If this frenum is sitting lower than normal, it can prevent the two upper front teeth to meet. This is the most common cause of gapped front teeth.
It is normal for children to have gapped baby teeth. Baby teeth are generally smaller in size than their adult counterpart. Natural gaps between baby teeth holds the space for their larger sized adult teeth to come through properly. These gaps usually will close spontaneously when the adult canines erupt.
Small sized teeth
Some individuals have smaller teeth allowing gaps to form between them
Large sized jaws
If the jaw size is larger than normal, there is plenty of room for gaps to form between teeth.
Gap will be present where there are missing teeth, due to developmental defect or extraction of teeth.
Gaps may develop in adulthood. This may be associated with gum diseases with bone loss. When teeth lost gum support, they can move and drift apart.
Habits, such as thumb-sucking, can lead to gaps between front teeth. The thumb pushes the upper front teeth forward, creating gaps between them.
Gaps between baby teeth are temporary. These gaps usually close when adult teeth come through.
Self-consciousness and low self-esteem
Gaps between teeth can affect one’s self-esteem. Some individual may feel self-conscious about their appearance and refuse to smile with their gapped teeth.
Gapped teeth can trap plaque
Some gaps may trap food or plaque between teeth. Prolong plaque accumulation will lead to dental decay and development of gum diseases.
Are you suffering from this condition? See one of our specialist orthodontists for an assessment.