What Can I Do About Gaps In My Teeth?
Have you heard of the condition called, ‘diastema’. Perhaps those who have been visiting a dentist as a matter of routine may be aware that ‘diastema’ refers to unwanted gaps between two adjacent teeth. This usually appears between the two front upper teeth though the term applies to gaps anywhere too. Human body and physiology is a complex thing and things could go wrong for a variety of reasons. In this condition, if there is a mismatch between the jaw size and the teeth, one ends up with either crowding of teeth or unwanted gaps. Size is not the sole cause factor for gaps. At times gaps result because some teeth are missing or are undersized and generally this affects the upper lateral incisors.
Diastema can also result because of an over-sized labial frenum which is a tissue that extends from the inside of the upper lip to the gums above the two frontal teeth. Many of us acquire certain undesirable habits as kids, like sucking one’s thumb. Invariably your front teeth get pulled forward and gaps start showing up. It is only later on in life as you get more conscious of your appearance that you start ruing what you continued to do despite your parents repeatedly telling you not to. Diastema could be a temporary condition too as gaps do appear once a child starts to lose baby teeth. These however fill up as permanent teeth develop and grow to their full size. Yet another cause is an incorrect swallowing reflex which manifests in two ways. One is the pressing of the tongue against the palate during swallowing and the second is called a tongue thrust where the tongue presses against the front teeth thus pushing those outwards.
In most cases of ‘diastema’, only an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Angelakis, can set the teeth right. The most common route to follow is the use of braces to move the teeth in the desired places. Many types are available and the choice depends upon the patient, and the type of movement needed.