Diastema: Causes And Effects

Posted on: 22 April 2018

Diastema is a dental anomaly where the gap between two adjacent teeth is wider than normal. Such abnormally large gaps can be caused by different things, and they can also affect different areas of your life.


Jaw-Bone Teeth Mismatch

Congenital defects are some of the reasons people have gaps between their teeth. For example, your teeth may come up with sizable gaps between them if your teeth are not properly proportioned, and your teeth are too small for your jawbone (or your jawbone is too big for your teeth).

Undersized Teeth

You may also have gaps between your teeth if some of your teeth are unusually small. This can be the case even if your jawbone is of the right size, and the rest of your teeth are properly shaped. In most cases, this type of diastema affects just the upper front teeth.

Oversized Labia Frenum

The labial frenum is an oral tissue that normally extends from the center of the two upper front teeth to the inside of the upper lip. In some cases, the labial frenum grows abnormally and passes between the two teeth, thereby widening the gap between them.

Bad Oral Habits

Some people aren't born with diastema, but develop the gums due to their bad oral or dental habits. For example, sucking the thumbs can create diastema because it pulls the front teeth outwards.


Lastly, you may also develop diastema due to the poor arrangement of the teeth in your mouth. For example, you may have gaps between your teeth if some of the teeth are leaning towards each other or protruding outwards.


Effect on Self Confidence

Diastema is an aesthetic concern for many people; they find it difficult to smile with confidence because they believe their smile is unnatural. For affected people, this reduced self-confidence may permeate other areas of their lives.

Speech Problems

Diastema may also lead to impaired speech, especially if it affects the front teeth. In such a case, it becomes difficult to pronounce some words; lisping is a common symptom of this problem.

Teeth Damage

Severe diastema may also increase your susceptibility to teeth damage. For example, if the diastema has been caused by teeth misalignment, it means some of the teeth may be in constant contact. This increases the risk of teeth cracking as well as a heightened rate of wear or enamel erosion.

Consult a dentist for a solution if you have diastema. Several solutions for the problem exist, such a dental bonding, crowning, orthodontic treatment and even the use of veneers.