Too Much Tooth Space

GapThe clinical term for a large gap between two of your teeth is a diastema. This is most noticeable when it happens between the top two front teeth, causing a common looking gap that some sport proudly, while others are ashamed. One of the first people to give diastemas a public forum was model/actress Lauren Hutton, known for flaunting her gapped top front teeth proudly back in the 1970s. You may have noticed other celebrities with diastemas as well, such as David Letterman, Michael Strahan, and Madonna. If you have gaps and are proud to smile nonetheless, great, as long as your diastema isn’t holding your smile pride back. Just be aware that there are some possible cosmetic implications of diastemas, such as misalignment which may make repair options a prudent possibility.

What Causes Spaces in Teeth?

Many kids present with diastemas in their primary teeth, but this is not necessarily a long term problem. As larger permanent teeth come in throughout development, those natural spaces keep individual teeth from overcrowding each other. However, in some cases, even for primary teeth making way for permanent teeth, the space is too big (or teeth are too small). Another possible explanation is an oversized labial frenulum (the skin flap between the upper lip and two front teeth) that causes the space because teeth can’t close completely. Another possibility is misalignment or protrusion of teeth.

Solutions for Unwanted Spaces in Smiles

If you would like to unover the cause of your diastema, the first step is consulting with a trusted dentist. Once the reason for the gap is determined, an informed treatment plan can be designed to meet your desires and needs. Treatment options will generally include the possibility of porcelain veneers, dental crowns, partial bridges, dental implants, and orthodontics. Additionally, multiple orthodontic possibilities are now available which can straighten teeth without concern for the embarrassment of obvious bracket-and-wire braces.


Dr. Brent Engelberg and his highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding communities, including; Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, and the Northern and Northwest Chicago Suburbs. To learn more, schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at 847-259-8030.

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