Teeth Gaps & Diastema: Beautiful or a Dental Issue?

Teeth Gaps & Diastema: Beautiful or a Dental Issue?

Diastema, commonly known as teeth gaps, is a condition in which there is noticeable space between two or more teeth. These gaps can occur anywhere in the mouth but are most often seen between the two upper front teeth.

While some consider diastema a sign of beauty and uniqueness, others may feel self-conscious and seek treatment for cosmetic or oral health reasons.

Unique Beauty

Diastema is the presence of gaps between teeth, particularly the front teeth, and has been celebrated as a sign of beauty and uniqueness across various cultures and throughout history. While this dental characteristic is often considered a deviation from traditional dental ideals in some societies, it is embraced and revered in others as a mark of distinction and charm.

The perception of diastema as an attractive feature underscores the broader understanding that beauty is indeed diverse and subjective. Celebrities and public figures who proudly display their gap-toothed smiles have further influenced the acceptance and appreciation of diastema in contemporary beauty standards.

This shift in perception highlights a growing recognition of individual differences and the importance of embracing one’s natural features. In a world where aesthetic preferences are continually evolving, the appreciation of diastema as a symbol of beauty and uniqueness serves as a reminder of the richness of human diversity and the myriad ways in which beauty can be understood and celebrated.

Tooth Gap Diastema Celebrity

Madonna – Courtesy of Shutterstock

Causes of Diastema

Several factors can contribute to the development of gaps between teeth, including:

  • Genetics: Diastema can run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition.
  • A Mismatch of Jaw Size and Teeth Size: A significant size difference can result in extra space between teeth or overcrowding.
  • Habits: Practices like thumb sucking, incorrect swallowing reflex (tongue thrusting), and prolonged use of pacifiers or bottles with baby teeth can push teeth apart.
  • Missing or Undersized Teeth: Teeth that are missing due to trauma or undersized teeth can lead to gaps in the surrounding teeth.
  • Gum Disease: Periodontal disease can lead to the weakening and loss of the supporting bone, causing teeth to become loose and create gaps.

Treatment Types

For those who desire treatment for diastema, it depends on its underlying cause, the patient’s oral health status and their aesthetic goals. Common treatments include:


An orthodontic treatment like braces is a traditional and effective method for closing gaps between teeth and crooked teeth. They work by applying continuous pressure over time to move teeth into the desired position. Braces can be metal, ceramic, or clear aligners, offering options for aesthetics and comfort. Orthodontic treatment duration varies depending on the complexity of the gap between your permanent teeth, but typically ranges from 6 months to 2 years.


Veneers are a highly effective cosmetic dental solution for individuals looking to address gaps between their teeth. These thin, custom-made shells are crafted from porcelain or composite resin material and are designed to cover the front surface of teeth, enhancing their appearance.

Veneers offer a versatile and minimally invasive option when treating diastema or the gaps between your teeth. By adjusting the width of the veneers, dentists can effectively close or minimise the spaces between teeth, creating a more uniform and aesthetically pleasing smile.

Beyond just improving the look of gaps, veneers can also alter teeth’ colour, shape, size, or length, providing a comprehensive smile makeover. The procedure typically involves a consultation and planning session, followed by the preparation of the teeth and the application of the veneers.

With proper care, upper front teeth veneers can provide a durable and long-lasting solution, offering a natural-looking, confident smile that can significantly boost an individual’s self-esteem and oral health.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a versatile and cost-effective cosmetic dental procedure used to improve the appearance of a person’s smile. It involves the application of a tooth-coloured resin material, which is then hardened with a special light, bonding the material to the tooth to restore or enhance an individual’s smile.

Dental bonding is commonly used for fixing discoloured, chipped, or cracked teeth, closing gaps between teeth, or changing the shape of teeth. The process is relatively simple and can often be completed in a single visit to the dentist, without the need for anesthesia unless it’s used to fill a decayed tooth.

One of the key advantages of dental bonding is its ability to blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth, providing a natural appearance that can last for several years with proper care. However, the bonding material is not as strong as natural teeth or other restorative procedures like veneers or crowns, and it may be prone to chipping or staining over time.

Dental Implants

Dental implants offer a permanent solution for gaps caused by a missing tooth. An implant is a titanium post surgically placed into the jawbone, acting as a root for the artificial tooth. Once the post integrates with the jaw bone, a custom-made crown is attached to fill the gap. This option not only restores the smile aesthetically but also helps preserve jawbone integrity and function.

Dental Bridges

A bridge uses the teeth on either side of the gap as anchors for a false tooth (or teeth) to fill the space. Dental bridges are a time-tested restorative dental solution designed to replace one or more missing teeth, effectively bridging the gap created by tooth loss. A typical bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth, known as pontics, anchored in place by dental crowns attached to the adjacent natural teeth or implants on either side of the gap.

This procedure not only restores the aesthetic appearance of a patient’s smile but also serves crucial functional purposes: it helps distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth, prevents remaining teeth from drifting out of position, and maintains the shape of the face. Dental bridges can be made from various materials, including porcelain, to match the natural colour of your teeth and gold or metal alloys for enhanced strength.

Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits to the dentist to prepare the anchoring teeth and fit the bridge. With good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups, dental bridges can last many years, offering a durable and effective solution to tooth loss.

Tooth Gap before and after celebrity

Zac Efron – Courtesy of Getty Images

Adult Teeth Prevention

While not all cases of diastema can be prevented, especially those due to genetics or unavoidable trauma, some measures can reduce the risk of your teeth shifting:

  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups can prevent gum disease, a potential cause of diastema.
  • Address Harmful Habits Early: Discouraging habits like thumb sucking and using orthodontic devices to correct tongue thrusting can prevent gaps from forming.
  • Wear Protective Gear: Using mouthguards during sports can prevent tooth loss due to injury.

Front Teeth with Teeth Gaps

Gaps between the two upper front teeth, known as midline diastema, are a common dental variation that can affect both children and adults. These gaps are often considered a cosmetic issue, although they may also reflect underlying dental or orthodontic concerns.

The presence of a gap between the two upper front teeth can be attributed to several factors, including genetic predisposition, the size of the teeth relative to the jawbone, or habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting, which can exert pressure on the teeth and lead to spacing issues.

In some cultures, a gap between the front teeth is seen as a sign of beauty or luck, while others may seek treatment for aesthetic reasons or to improve oral function.

Treatment options for closing gaps between the front teeth vary based on the cause and size of the gap, ranging from orthodontic solutions like braces or clear aligners, which gradually move the teeth closer together, to cosmetic procedures such as dental bonding or veneers, which can instantly transform the appearance of the smile by covering the gap.

Teeth Gaps

Anna Paquin – Courtesy of Shutterstock

Diastema and Gum Disease

Diastema, or gaps between teeth, can sometimes be linked to gum disease, highlighting the intricate relationship between oral health conditions and dental aesthetics. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious infection of the gums that can damage the soft tissue and, if left untreated, can destroy the bone that supports your teeth.

This destruction can lead to loose teeth, which may contribute to the development or widening of gaps between them. The connection between diastema and gum disease underscores the importance of maintaining excellent oral hygiene and seeking regular dental care. Effective prevention and treatment of gum disease can halt the progression of the condition and potentially prevent the formation or exacerbation of diastema.

Managing gum disease often involves professional dental cleanings, improved at-home oral care routines, and, in more serious or severe gum disease cases, treatments such as scaling and root planing or even surgical interventions. By addressing gum disease promptly, individuals can not only improve their oral health but also mitigate one of the potential causes of diastema, preserving the integrity and aesthetics of their smile.

Diastema before and after

Concerned by Teeth Gaps? Aria can help.

Diastema can be a charming characteristic or a source of discomfort for some. Understanding its causes and available treatment options empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their oral health and personal appearance.

If you choose to undergo treatment, like orthodontic braces to gradually shift teeth into place or dental implants to replace missing teeth, modern dentistry offers practical solutions for those looking to close the gap.

Remember, the best approach depends on individual needs and circumstances, so consulting with an Aria Dental professional is crucial in choosing the right treatment plan. Regardless of the chosen treatment, addressing gaps between the front teeth may lead to improved dental health, enhanced appearance, and boosted self-confidence.

Make informed decisions about your Teeth Gaps, oral health and appearance - book an appointment today.
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