Ever take a look in the mirror and smile, only to realize there seems to be a space growing between two of your teeth? For some, that image can quickly turn that smile into a frown, but don’t worry, it’s more common than you might think. See below to find out what causes spaces between teeth and what can be done to close up the gap.

What Is The Gap Between My Teeth Called?

A space or a gap between two teeth is known as a diastema. Generally speaking, they occur between the two upper front teeth, but they can be found between any two teeth in the mouth.

Diastemas often form naturally and don’t usually cause pain or discomfort. See below for a bit more detail about how spaces between teeth develop.

How Do Diastemas Form?

One reason for abnormal spaces between the teeth comes as a result of a mismatch between jaw bone size and tooth size. If the jaw bone is much larger than the teeth, spaces can occur.

Another reason you may notice a gap between teeth is because some teeth are missing or are undersized. The lateral incisors, or the teeth next to the two upper front teeth, fall into this category frequently and this can cause a gap between the upper central incisors, or upper front teeth.

Diastemas can also form as a result of an oversized labial frenum. This is the piece of tissue that extends from the inside of your upper lip to your gum, right above your two upper front teeth. Sometimes, the labial frenum grows too large and passes down between the two front teeth, blocking the closing of the space between these two teeth.

Aside from the reasons mentioned above, diastemas can also form from habits developed throughout childhood. Thumb sucking and incorrect swallowing reflexes are two major causes of spaces between teeth, and the gaps can worsen over time if these habits are not corrected.

How To Treat A Diastema

Since diastemas aren’t a one-size-fits-all type of situation, there are several different treatment options depending on your unique situation. Sometimes orthodontic treatments can solve the problem while other times, you might need extensive dental repair. It’s always best to speak with your orthodontist or dental professional to come up with a solution that works best for you.