Diastema - what, why and how of it
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‘I can never smile freely because of my teeth gap’. Have you ever had this thought? If yes, then, it’s time to fix that gap. No, you don’t have to go down the braces road, but before we look at all your options, why don’t we learn more about teeth gap.
Teeth gap, also known as diastema, can form anywhere in the mouth. It is most noticeable when the spacing is between the upper front teeth. Both kids and adults can have diastema, but gaps in children’s teeth may disappear once their permanent teeth come out.
It is not harmful and treatment is not necessarily required for medical reasons. However, who are conscious of it for cosmetic reasons can close or narrow this gap.
Causes of Teeth Gap or Diastema
Diastema doesn’t occur due to one reason but rather has several possible contributing factors. Here are 6 common causes of teeth gap:
Diastema can be genetic. If anyone in your family has teeth gap, chances are you might too.
Spacing occurs when your teeth are too small in relation to the size of your jawbone. Now, jawbone and tooth sizes are genetic, which is why it makes diastema genetic.
It is common to see diastemas running in families.
2. Missing Teeth
Some people may have missing teeth or teeth that are smaller than others. If that is the case, diastema can occur.
This usually occurs in the teeth that are on the either side of the upper front teeth. If those upper lateral incisors are missing or comparatively small, then a gap can develop between the two front teeth.
3. Oversized Labial Frenum
Sounds complicated? Well, the labial frenum is the tissue that extends from the inside of the upper lip to the gum above the upper front teeth.
If this tissue is more than its normal size, it can cause a gap between the two front teeth.
4. Gum Disease
In case of advanced gum disease, some teeth can migrate. This is because if you have gum disease, the inflammation can damage the bone that supports the teeth.
When that happens, the teeth may become loose and cause a gap.
5. Poor Oral Habits
Childhood habits like lip sucking, thumb sucking or even tongue thrusting can put pressure on the front teeth.
This causes the teeth to move forward and form gap in front teeth.
6. Wrong Swallowing Reflex
When you swallow, the tongue presses against the roof of the mouth. This is the normal swallowing reflexing.
However, some people push the tongue against the front teeth when you swallow. This repetitive pressure against the front teeth will cause them to move forward and create a gap between them.
How to close the gap between the teeth?
Here are some common treatment options for teeth gap:
1. Braces: These are a common orthodontic solution to fix teeth gap. They put pressure on the teeth and slowly move them into the right position. This helps in closing the gap.
However, these are uncomfortable and restrictive when it comes to eating. They are very obvious and visible, which can make people conscious about having them.
2. Teeth gap bands: These are small, elastic rubber bands that are similar to ligatures used by orthodontists as part of the orthodontic treatment. To use the band, you have to put it around the teeth you want to close the gap.
The pressure on the teeth supposedly helps in pulling the teeth close to each other, closing the gap. Though it sounds simple and effective, teeth gap bands can have severe consequences.
3. Clear Aligners: If you want to fix teeth gap without braces, clear aligners are your best bet. These are customized transparent trays that you have to fit in your mouth and they are easily removable.
The clear aligners put mild pressure on your teeth and move them to their right positions. The gap will be eventually closed.
There are numerous benefits of clear aligners, one of the biggest being that there are no food restrictions. You can eat whatever you like – just remove them, eat, brush, and put them back on.
If you are skeptical about using clear aligners, you would be glad to know that some really famous celebrities have used them in the past.
Teeth Gap Bands vs Clear Aligners
Teeth gap seems like a convenient option; however, these can cause permanent damage to the teeth. It might eventually lead to taking further orthodontic treatment. Suffice to say, this is not the teeth gap treatment that you would want to go for.
On the other hand, clear aligners are a safe and comfortable option. They give you efficient results without any harm or damage to your teeth.
So, if you are contemplating which way to go for the teeth gap treatment, aligners would be the clear winner (pun intended).
toothsi makes the clear aligner treatment simpler with its at-home scans. After an appointment is set, the orthodontists visit your home and take your scans or you can book an impression kit. Based on these scans, our team of expert orthodontists will create your smile makeover plan and print your aligners. You get the convenience of getting the treatment from home, so all you have to do is book your scan now.
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