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Bad Teeth: Diastema - Tooth Gaps

Excess Tooth Spacing

Diastemas are fairly common with younger patient populations. A common treatment for young people is traditional orthdontics, to correct certain growth and developmental patterns that normalize tooth spacing.

For those who delayed treatment into adulthood, Invisalign has become a popular alternative ortho treatment for those who wish to avoid wearing conventional tooth braces.

Diastemas can occur in other ways, nonetheless. Patients who fail to follow the recommendations of their orthodontist for wearing a retainer on a permanent basis (whether all the time or just nightly) often have issues with teeth that begin shifting, creating a diastema problem, even several years after orthodontic treatment.

Trauma can cause teeth to shift. Excess untreated tooth extractions can cause diastemas. For children, dentists will often include spacers to prevent unwanted shifting of teeth during critical developmental stages.

Patients who have severe, uncontrolled Periodontitis may acquire severe diastemas through bone loss, soft tissue loss (gum recession) and loss of connective tissue between the tooth and and jawbone. The diastemas are not a cosmetic issue really, but rather a structural issue.

This gallery contains examples of minor and major diastemas with suggestions of the most common treatment possibilities to eliminate the unwanted spacing.

Excess tooth spacing. The real issue here is advanced periodontal disease. Loss of bone, connective tissue, degrading gingiva result in compromised tooth integrity. Obviously disturbed occlusion accelerates unwanted movement of teeth.

Treatment recommendations would include treatment for gum disease, restoration of lost hard and soft tissues, possible implants, dentures, bridgework, fixed bridges, reconstructing a normal bite and occlusal relationship.

Hard to believe, but patients have inquired about using veneers for managing diastemas due to gum disease.

Severe Gum Disease - Bone Loss
Dr. Sam Muslin

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