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Causes of Diastema and How Invisalign Can Close It

closing diastemas with Invisalign

Diastema can take a toll on one’s self-confidence. Aside from the visual aspect of it, it can also be troubling to one’s oral health. In this article, we’ll explain to you what diastema is, its causes, and the signs that you have one. Our Orthodontist in Massachusetts also talk about the option of closing diastemas with Invisalign, so keep reading ahead!

What is Diastema?

Diastema, also commonly known as a tooth gap, is a type of condition where you have an obvious gap between your teeth. This condition can affect both children and adults. While the gap can occur amongst any teeth, it is most commonly visible in one’s front teeth. There are certain instances where this gap gets filled by itself through the eruption of permanent teeth in children.

For others, a diastema is seen as a cosmetic concern, but it can also bring dental health risks for others.

Causes of Diastema

There isn’t only one single cause of diastema. Instead, there are a lot of potential factors that lead up to this dental issue. For some people, this condition is correlated to the size of their jaw bone and their teeth. The following are other potential causes of diastema:

Natural growth

There are instances wherein the gapped front teeth stem from natural growth among children. It is quite common around the ages of six to eight years. However, this gap typically disappears with the eruption of upper canines.

Abnormal Position, Size & Shape of Teeth

If the size, shape, and position of one’s teeth are unusual, then the possibility of diastema increases. This means that the teeth are unable to get the necessary support and pressure from one another to keep them from drifting apart.

Missing Tooth

A missing tooth will naturally cause a diastema, especially a missing upper lateral incisor. The teeth may start to shift over time and more space will be evident just because of a missing tooth.

Outgrown Labial Frenum

The labial frenum is a tissue that can be found covering the gum above the upper front teeth and the inside of the upper lip. If this tissue begins to outgrow, this can result in a gap in the teeth.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a severe gum disease that often leads to tooth decay. If the diastema is acquired, there may be a possibility that you have periodontitis, don’t wait until the last minute to have it checked. Due to the infection, your teeth can get loose and create a gap.

Irregular Swallowing Reflex

Your swallowing reflexes are correct when you make your tongue press against the roof of your mouth. As opposed to incorrect swallowing, you end up pushing your tongue against your front teeth. The constant pressure from this can lead to a gap between the two front teeth.

Bad habits

If your child has a habit of biting your lower lip or thumb sucking, then this causes diastema in their early years. For adults, having a tongue piercing can trigger it as well. The stud can disrupt the formation of one’s front teeth due to the constant budging it makes.

Falling of Teeth

Sometimes a gap between teeth can occur because of the falling of baby or permanent teeth. However, these types of gaps are not permanent and close once the permanent teeth erupt.

Signs You Have Diastema

Besides the noticeable gap between the teeth, there are a lot of indicators of diastema. You may feel that some of your teeth are getting loose, along with some discomfort and pain. The pain can worsen while you’re eating. Other signs are swollen, tender, bright red, bleeding, or receding gums. There may be instances where you frequently have bad breath, too.

Closing Diastemas with Invisalign

Invisalign is recognized for its capability to correct misaligned and gapped teeth. This treatment option is suitable for all age groups. Additionally, Invisalign is a popular alternative to braces due to the fact that they are discreet.

Depending on the severity of the issue, the clear aligners can be used by themselves or along with other treatment plans to close the gaps in the teeth. 

For circumstances caused by a jaw-to-tooth size that’s out of proportion, tongue thrust, or thumb sucking, Invisalign aligners are worn to slowly shift the individual tooth towards each other. However, there is a limitation to this. If the gap is extremely big or there are multiple teeth missing, then your dentist or orthodontist may suggest an alternative treatment.

Gaps that are caused by excess gum tissue between the front teeth or gum disease may call for clear aligners and other treatments in order to address the concern more effectively. When it comes to gum disease, the actual tissue affected by it will have to be removed from the mouth. If there is an occurrence of significant bone loss, then it may be required to undergo a bone graft to restore the jaw’s volume. 

Getting rid of any teeth that can’t be restored and replacing them with dental implants can also be included in the treatment process.

closing diastemas with Invisalign

Can You Prevent Diastema?

Unfortunately, you can’t exactly prevent diastema due to natural causes. Nonetheless, you can implement changes in your lifestyle to decrease the chances of getting one. Here are some quick tips on how to do so.

  • Floss at least once a day
  • Brush teeth twice a day
  • Have professional dental cleaning sessions regularly
  • Encourage your children to get rid of their bad habits, such as thumb-sucking
  • Educate your kid about the correct swallowing reflexes

Conclusion

If you have diastema and want to undergo Invisalign treatment in Marlborough, you have to schedule a consultation for a more in-depth assessment. With Carvalho & Roth Orthodontics, we make sure that all patients under us are given the best treatment possible.

Schedule your consultation by calling (508) 485-8788 to contact our Marlborough clinic. If you want to reach our Northborough clinic, you can call (508) 485-8788. And if you’re closer to our Newton Center location, then you can call (508) 485-8788.

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