Mind the Gap?
You don’t hear the word diastema in everyday conversation, but the condition is more common than you might think. Diastema is a dental term referring to a gap, or gaps, between the teeth. It’s a normal feature in humans – in fact, during medieval times, a diastema was often considered attractive. Even today, women in certain African countries are looked upon positively if they have a diastema, and many celebrities, even supermodels, have them.
Fortunately, a diastema does not endanger a person’s health. The gap created between the teeth may allow for larger pieces of food or debris to lodge in the empty space, so a diastema typically requires more attentive brushing and flossing. Common causes of diastemas (or diastemata, choose your plural form) include:
- Misaligned teeth
- Variations in tooth size or shape
- Protruding teeth
- Missing teeth
In nearly all cases of diastema, if you desire, the Placerville Dentistry Group has a cosmetic treatment available to bring symmetry back to your smile.
Treating Oral Diastemas
There are many individuals who choose to keep their diastema. As stated before, it might be a cultural reason, they may simply like it, it may have become a personal “trademark,” or the diastema might not be pronounced enough to cause significant issues. Some individuals, however, might develop frustrating problems like whistling when speaking due to their diastema. Depending on your circumstances, several treatments are available to help.
Orthodontics – using appliances like braces or Invisalign, your teeth are repositioned to reduce or even eliminate gaps.
Veneers – porcelain veneers can cover a gap between teeth.
Bonding – if your diastema is caused by a chipped or cracked tooth, dental bonding might be the best option to restore the tooth to its original shape.
Although most diastemas are not a direct danger to your health, they can often affect a person’s self-image. Thankfully, treatments can be affordable and all of those listed here are relatively painless. That means there’s really no need to refrain from having the best smile possible. If you would like to find out what options are available to fix your diastema, call our office or schedule an appointment here on our website.