Diastema occurs when there is a gap or space between the teeth.
These types of gaps can form anywhere in the mouth, but most commonly appear between the two upper front teeth.
Seen in both adults and children, the condition can have negative impacts on confidence as well as on your oral health.
Whereas some gaps may be small and unnoticeable, they can grow larger over time and become a cosmetic issue for many patients.
But if you feel insecure about the spaces between your teeth, there are various treatments and procedures to reduce their size and close the gap.
What causes diastema?
There is no one clear cause of this oral condition, but it is often caused by several contributing factors.
It all relates to the size of your teeth and jaw in relation to each other, for example, if your teeth are too small for the jaw bone, then teeth are often spaced too far apart.
Due to genetics, diastema also commonly runs in families making it hereditary.
More importantly, gaps in the mouth can form over time due to a direct consequence of gum disease, which is a type of infection in the mouth that deteriorates the gum. Signs of gum disease include red, swollen and bleeding gums as well as bad breath and wobbly teeth.
Suddenly formed gaps between teeth
Are your teeth separating, loose or shifting? When gaps appear in teeth that weren’t there before it can understandably be very worrying.
This can be the same for those with pre-existing gaps that are getting bigger.
Some cases of diastema can develop as a direct consequence of gum disease, which is an infection that takes place within your gums due to tartar and plaque buildup.
This can cause black triangles also referred to as pockets between teeth.
This is a result of not teeth moving further apart, but rather the eradication of gum. The inflammation of the gums damages the supporting tissue beneath the teeth, which cause gaps or pockets to form in-between teeth.
As gums do not restore or grow back, it’s important to ignore the issue to avoid and prevent future tooth loss.
How to fix triangle gaps in teeth
As we cannot rebuild gum lost, we can use cosmetic dentistry to conceal the appearance of black pockets.
Treatments like dental bonding (composite bonding) is an affordable and minimally-invasive way to rid your mouth of black triangles.
Dental bonding uses a tooth-coloured composite resin, which fills in the gaps or can be applied directly to teeth to conceal the imperfections.
There are also longer-lasting treatments like veneers, which can be effective at closing gaps in just one day.
Common dental techniques and treatments to close gaps
There are various types of treatments that can solve this issue and they span across various fields of dentistry from cosmetic to orthodontic.
Depending on the underlying cause of your gaps, treatment may not always be necessary, for some, it’s not a gum disease problem but rather a cosmetic one.
That’s why many patients who treat spaces in their mouth choose to do so purely for cosmetic reasons and wish to enhance the appearance of their smile.
A popular solution, braces actually pull the teeth together to form a new oral structure, which means that gappy smiles can be a thing of the past.
In the past, traditional fixed braces were often the go-to recommended solution for teens and young adults to close gaps as the metal wires and brackets put pressure on the teeth to slowly move them together.
However, we know that especially in the case of our adult patients, who are not offered free braces on the NHS, that fixed metal braces are not the preferred option for fear of stigma.
Tooth-coloured wired braces like Six Month Smiles provide a more discreet option to straighten teeth and can do so in half the time of conventional procedures. Read more.
The faster route
Whilst there are more discreet brace options, our patients are tending to look more towards completely invisible options like Invisalign, which uses clear plastic aligners to gradually shift teeth into their new positions.
Invisalign today is proving to be the most popular option for teens and adults alike with even many celebrities now choosing this over instant and life-changing cosmetic procedures.
There are many different types of Invisalign, all of which are designed uniquely to suit different oral conditions. These treatments can take anywhere from 3-12 months to complete and cost from £2,000-£5,000. More.
Invisalign vs braces
Before and afters
Fix tooth gaps without braces
Porcelain veneers can be placed in three easy appointments, whereas more immediate options include composite veneers, which is a reversible procedure that applies a composite resin directly to the tooth to be sculpted.
Patients who do not want braces and want something more instant can look into procedures like veneer application or dental bonding.
If the gap is big enough, you may be a candidate for dental implants or dental bridges, which replaces missing teeth or can close a gap.
To learn more about the treatment options available to you, book an appointment with us below.
Medically reviewed & updated on January 20, 2022