Dubai: A diastema is a space or gap between two teeth. It appears most often between the two upper front teeth. However, gaps can occur between any two teeth. A mismatch between the size of the jaw bones and the size of the teeth can cause either extra space between teeth or crowding of teeth.
What Does The Gap Between Your Teeth Signify
If the teeth are too small for the jaw bone, spaces between the teeth will occur. If the teeth are too big for the jaw, teeth will be crowded. Spaces develop for a few other reasons as well. Read the following post for more details.
Sometimes some teeth are missing or undersized. This happens most often with the upper lateral incisors (the teeth next to the two upper front teeth). That can cause the upper front teeth (central incisors) to develop a space. A diastema also can be caused by an oversized labial frenum.
The labial frenum is the piece of tissue that normally extends from the inside of your upper lip to the gum just above your two upper front teeth. In some situations, the labial frenum continues to grow and passes between the two front teeth. If this happens, it blocks the natural closing of the space between these teeth.
Habits can also lead to gaps between the teeth. Thumb sucking tends to pull the front teeth forward, creating gaps. Spaces can develop from an incorrect swallowing reflex. For most people, the tongue presses against the roof of the mouth (palate) during swallowing.
Some people develop a different reflex known as a tongue thrust. When they swallow, the tongue presses against the front teeth. Over time the pressure will push the front teeth forward. This can cause spaces to develop.
Some people get braces, which move the teeth together. Often, no matter where the diastema is, you must wear a full set of braces on both your upper and lower teeth. That’s because moving any teeth affects your entire mouth. If you have a space between your teeth or see one in your child’s mouth, talk with your dentist.
He or she will determine the reason for space and may refer you to an orthodontist, a specialist in treatment with braces. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. Treatment (if needed) may not begin right away. You and the orthodontist will discuss the overall treatment plan.