Causes of diastema?

“Diastema” is the medical term for a gap between the teeth. Children and adults both experience this harmless condition. In many cases, when a child has a diastema, the gap will close when the child’s permanent teeth come in. In some cases, the diastema doesn’t close. Any gap that is wider than .5 mm is considered a diastema, and a diastema can exist between any teeth, though diastema between the two front, top teeth is most common. While a diastema is harmless, if you have a diastema and you dislike the appearance of your smile because of it, there is treatment available. Diastema has many causes, and many corresponding courses of treatment. The most prevalent cause of a diastema is the size of the teeth relative to the size of the jawbone. Quite simply, if the teeth are too small for the mouth, gaps may appear between the teeth. The size of both the teeth and of the jaw are usually genetic, which is why diastema may appear to run in families. In cases where teeth are missing or if individual teeth are abnormally sized, a diastema may also appear. This usually appears in the teeth adjacent to the upper front teeth; if these adjacent teeth are small or missing, this can cause a gap to develop between the two front teeth. A diastema may also be caused by an oversized labial frenum, which is the tissue that connects the upper lip to the top of the gum in the front of the mouth. If this tissue is too large, it may pull on the teeth, causing a gap to form between the two front, upper teeth. It’s important to realize that the gums also play a significant role in the overall health of the mouth and teeth, and advanced gum disease may lead to inflammation, which, in turn, damages the bone and allows the teeth to migrate in the mouth. In some cases, the teeth loosen and gaps appear, and sometimes the teeth fall out. In cases of diastema caused by advanced gum disease, your dentist will offer solutions that address the health of the entire mouth and not just cosmetic concerns.

Another possible cause of a diastema is an incorrect swallowing reflex. When swallowing properly, your tongue should press against the roof of the mouth. If your tongue presses against the backs of the upper front teeth when you swallow, you may be putting pressure on these teeth, slowly pushing them apart from each other. In this case, a diastema may develop slowly, over time. Specialists can work with you to modify and correct your swallowing to prevent further tooth movement or future damage. Other habits, like thumb or lip sucking, tongue thrusting, or other behaviors that put pressure on the front teeth, may push the teeth out of alignment as well. While the diastema can be treated, the habit must also be addressed, or the diastema may reappear after treatment. Sometimes, when children’s baby teeth, or primary teeth, fall out, they may develop diastema. Usually, these gaps close when the child’s adult, or permanent, teeth come in. This is considered a normal phenomenon in a child’s oral development and does not require treatment.

More on Diastema : Diastema & Children