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Teeth Spacing

What is Teeth Spacing?

Gap between two teeth when they are bigger than usual are referred to a dental condition called Diastema. In most people with diastema, the gap is between the front two upper teeth. But it needs to be borne in mind that gaps can exist between any teeth and the multiple teeth might have gaps between them throughout the oral region.

Why Diastema or Teeth Spacing occur on the front two upper teeth?

  • Generally smaller tooth size can cause diastema.
  • Some people will have a bigger labial frenum. The labial frenum is the piece of tissue that you can feel in the central part of the inner upper lips. You can observe that this tissue piece is connecting into the central part of the upper gumline. When this connection is extended, the labial frenum becomes thicker and it might extend in between the two upper front teeth. This results in the upper two front teeth to develop space. Simply put, the labial frenum prevents the closing of the gap between the upper two front teeth.
  • Sometimes the adjacent tooth to the upper front tooth (the lateral incisors) might be missing or they might be undersized. This can cause the upper front teeth to occupy partially the space of the incisors. This might result in the gap being produced between the two upper front teeth.
  • Peg laterals
  • Thumb sucking can cause the upper front two teeth to be pushed outside slightly and this can cause a gap between the two teeth.
  • Tongue thrust
  • One of the two upper front teeth might be undersized than the other and this mismatch in size can cause teeth spacing.

Why Diastema or Teeth Spacing occurs between multiple teeth?

  • If there are multiple missing teeth, the teeth might move its position and cause a gap between teeth in multiple places.
  • If the teeth are smaller in size but the jaw bone is large, there might be space between many teeth.

Treating Diastema

The dentist studies the cause of diastema first and then recommends treatment accordingly. Most times a set of treatment would be required to resolve the problem of diastema. The treatment invariably includes wearing braces also and wearing the retainers subsequently.

Treating Diastema of the Upper two front teeth

  • If the diastema is because of smaller adjacent tooth then the smaller tooth can be treated by giving a dental bonding or a crown.
  • Similarly, if the diastema is because of a smaller lateral upper incisor, the same treatment of dental bonding or a crown is suggested.
  • If the diastema is because of a bigger labial frenum, then the frenum has to be reduced surgically. This surgery is called frenectomy.
  • If the diastema is because of the thumb sucking habit, then orthodontal treatment alone can provide relief.
  • In all the above cases, after dental bonding or crown or getting frenectomy done, dental braces have to be worn for a recommended period to get the diastema to resolve. After that wearing retainers to hold on to the result is also necessary.

Treating Teeth Space in Multiple Teeth

  • If the teeth spacing is due to smaller teeth in comparison to the bigger jaw, then orthodontic treatment is the only solution.
  • Orthodontic treatment has to start where dental braces have to be worn for a recommended period. This is required for the teeth spacing issue to resolve completely.

Can Diastema be Prevented?

Except for diastema due to thumb sucking habit, tongue thrusting, and periodontal diseases, all the other reasons cannot be prevented. Maintaining proper oral hygiene can prevent diastema due to periodontal diseases.

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