10 Leading causes of diastema

    Smiling is said to provide several benefits. In fact, scientists discovered that smiling deliberately can help you feel better. Doing the act on purpose can even change the brain chemistry, which can be a great help for people dealing with anxiety or depression. Unfortunately for some people, smiling becomes a tedious chore with diastema affecting their self-confidence. If you have this condition, dental bands may be suggested.

    Diastema is defined as the space between a person’s two teeth. While it can be typically observed in the upper front teeth, diastema may be seen between any two teeth. Often, this condition affects children, which is why parents are advised to have their kids checked for immediate treatment. In adults, however, diastema can become permanent and will already need an orthodontic correction.

    This article will discuss the ten leading causes of the condition and the possible treatment you can take if you have diastema. You will also find out some tips on how you can prevent having this dental flaw.

    Leading Causes of Diastema

    1. Teeth and Jaw Problems

    One of the common causes of teeth gaps or diastema is the size mismatch between your teeth and your jaw. Gaps are usually observed when the size of the jaw is too big and the teeth size is normal. In some cases, the jaw size is normal, but the teeth size is too small.

    A mismatch in the jaw size and teeth size may either cause teeth gaps or teeth crowding. If spaces are the issue, a dentist or orthodontist may recommend the use of teeth bands.

    2. Dentoalveolar Discrepancies (Teeth and Arch Discrepancies)

    Another possible cause of diastema is a dentoalveolar discrepancy. A disproportion between the teeth size and arch length may also cause teeth gaps. The increase in arch dimensions is basically what causes the spaces between some teeth.

    This dental discrepancy occurs when the anterior teeth size is normal but the bridgework arch is bigger. In other cases, it is the arch that is in normal size and the anterior teeth are smaller. If you are encountering diastema caused by dentoalveolar discrepancies, you may ask your orthodontist how to fix gap teeth.

    3. Expanded Labial Frenum

    Another reported leading cause of maxillary diastema is an expanded labial frenum. This occurs when the labial frenum expands from the inner part of your upper lip to the gum above your two upper front teeth.

    In other cases, the labial frenum grows continuously and even extends between the two teeth on front. If this occurs, the natural closing is blocked, thus creating a space.

    4. Tongue Thrust

    Another cause of diastema is constant tongue thrusting. Teeth spaces can develop over time if you have improper swallowing reflex. Most people press their tongue against their mouth’s roof or palate when they swallow. However, this is not the case for some people.

    Others experience tongue thrust, a reflex wherein you press your tongue against your front teeth. This reflex can move the front teeth forward, which can lead to teeth gaps. You can also ask your orthodontist how to fix gap teeth if you have diastema due to this reflex.

    5. Thumb Sucking

    While thumb sucking is more common among children, childhood habits can cause complications during adulthood. Thumb sucking may be a habit formed around the time when the permanent teeth begin to appear at age six to seven.

    This is why parents are highly advised to bring their children to a dentist to help control this habit as this can pull the front teeth forward. A dentist may advise the use of special dental aids to prevent future teeth gaps.

    6. Missing Tooth

    Another major cause of diastema is a missing tooth. If you have a missing tooth, obviously, spaces will occur. It may even get worse as other teeth may likely move into space. If missing tooth or teeth is your problem, it is best to see the doctor or orthodontist right away, especially if you are already an adult.

    Oral bands, dental bands or teeth bands may no longer be the solution if this is the case. It is best to seek professional advice regarding this matter.

    7. Periodontitis

    Periodontitis is a serious gum disease, which is caused by bone loss that causes the inflammation of gums. When this happens, teeth support is lost, which can result in teeth mobility. This leads to teeth gaps, which will likely worsen if not given immediate and proper treatment.

    An untreated periodontal disease can likewise affect general health. It also poses an increased risk for pregnancy complications, diabetes, and heart disease. This is why early detection is important to avoid complications.

    8. Ethnicity or Heredity

    Heredity is also one of the inevitable causes of teeth gaps or diastema. This is due to the teeth size controls being genetically driven. Studies supported this theory, showing the genetic basis of hypodontia and microdontia.

    9. Oral Habits

    Certain oral habits can lead to teeth gaps as well. Aside from thumb sucking and tongue thrusting, there may be other oral habits that are done unconsciously by the patient, which can lead to diastema over time.

    It is best to avoid oral habits that may be damaging to your overall dental health so that you can also avoid the need to use oral bands to solve teeth gaps.

    10. Other Medical Conditions or Medications

    Certain medical conditions and medications may cause the teeth to become frail, which may lead to teeth loss. When this happens, gaps become noticeable. If teeth loss is caused by other medical complications or medications, you can ask your physician to better understand what you can do about this concern.


    Diastema can ultimately affect your self-confidence. While there are several options available to treat this condition, it is still best to consult with your dentist or orthodontist first. This is to ensure that you will only get proper assessment and treatment for your condition.

    Also, remember not to take any action without the go signal of your dentist or orthodontist. Solving dental issues on your own can make your condition even worse. Treat it the best way possible as advised by a professional so that you can have that perfect smile.

    Savannah Wiegand
    Savannah Wiegand
    Savannah Wiegand is a content writer for Orthofill with her expertise, she understands the essence and importance of such.

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