Diastema: what are the risks of the fashion for separated teeth?

Many celebrities like Madonna, Quim Gutierrez or Vanessa Paradis have separated teeth (diastema).

Elijah Wood, Madonna, Vanessa Paradis, Quim Gutierrez either Brigitte Bardot are among the celebrities who have openly flaunted their diastema or separated teeth. That these celebrities have helped normalize this feature and that she even looks attractive can be a positive, but sometimes diastema can affect the oral health and it needs to be corrected.

Dr. Jorge Ferrús, periodontist, implantologist and co-founder of the Ferrus & Bratos dental clinic in Madrid, clarifies our doubts about this condition and when it should be corrected.

What exactly is the diastema?

A diastema is a space either separation existing between two teeth. Normally, when we talk about diastema, we think of the upper central incisors (commonly called pallets), but gaps can occur anywhere on the teeth.

What are the causes of gapped teeth?

Gaps between teeth can be caused by our own development or by habits we developed during childhood. The main causes are:

  • A disproportion in the size of the teeth. This abnormality in dental development is known as microdontia and occurs when the pieces are smaller than usual. For this reason, the dental parts do not come into contact with each other.
  • The absence of any dental parts. When we are missing a tooth, the adjacent pieces tend to move to take up the space that has been freed up in the arch. This lack of teeth can be the result of agenesis (when we have not developed a tooth) or the loss of a tooth for different reasons.
  • The upper dental arch is larger than the lower one. We could explain this case as the opposite of crowding: having more space in the arch, the teeth tend to stay apart.
  • upper labial frenulum. When the maxillary frenulum is inserted in a lower position than usual, it is normal for gaps to appear in the central incisors.
  • sucking habits. A baby or child with poor sucking habits (thumb, bottle, etc.) can alter the development of their jawbone causing malocclusion and separation of the incisors.

Can thumb sucking or pressing the tongue against the teeth cause a diastema?

The truth is yes. There thumb sucking during the first months of life It generates malformations in the palate and teeth, which results in undue spaces between the parts.

Another gesture that seems innocuous but also has negative consequences is the tongue pressure against the teeth. Due to the constant pushing of the tongue, the dental pieces gradually move until they separate from each other. There are people who apply pressure not out of habit, but because their tongue is too big (macroglossia).

What oral problems can gap teeth cause?

The main disadvantage is that the Leftovers They accumulate more easily in the interdental spaces. It is therefore important to pay particular attention to the home hygiene.

In the case of diastemas due to the absence of a tooth, the problem is the incorrect distribution of occlusal loads. When a tooth is missing, you don’t bite properly and, in addition, the rest of the teeth tend to move. In these cases, there is an increased risk of tooth wear.

When should the deviation be corrected and when is it not a problem?

When the diastema does not affect the functionality of the to bite, it is possible to have a healthy mouth despite gaping teeth. if that’s a question simply aestheticIt depends on each person how it is perceived. For some, this may be perceived as a soft and childish, even reaching the fashion category. For others, on the contrary, it is an aesthetic defect and a physical complex that they prefer to correct.

How is the diastema corrected?

The main treatment for resolving deficiencies is orthodontics. However, sometimes you can also use the placement of aesthetic veneers if it is small spaces.

THE veneers These are thin sheets of porcelain that adhere to the outer surface of the teeth. They are designed to change the size, shape and color of the teeth, but only the anterior pieces, that is, the ones we show when we smile. However, reality shows that there are very few people who, without having undergone prior orthodontic treatment, present a good alignment and harmony in your teeth.

Therefore, in case the patient has other types of problems, such as rotations in the teeth or missing teethveneers cannot be the only treatment and prior orthodontic treatment is necessary.

It would be necessary to resort to orthodontics which brings each of the parts back to its proper place and closes the spaces between the teeth. On some occasions there are minimal gaps that can be closed with the treatment of the veneers so that the result is even more spectacular.

Currently there is a wide variety of very discreet dental appliances intended for adult patients. For this reason, those who need to correct the spaces between the teeth opt for the invisible orthodontics: transparent gutters, aesthetic backets or lingual brackets They go inside the tooth and are 100% imperceptible, so it is the most discreet orthodontics on the market.

With orthodontic treatment we get align teethclose the spaces between the teeth and adjust the occlusion to improve both the esthetics and the functionality of the smile.


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