The Beauty of the Dental Diastema
Since the middle ages, a diastema (or gap between central incisors) has represented a symbol of beauty and fertility. In Ghana and Nigeria these traits are especially beautiful, and some people even have a gap cosmetically created. In France, it is called “dents de bonheur” which means “lucky teeth”.
Surely you have seen celebrities, or even some of your peers with a gap between their front two teeth. Some celebrities who have a diastema include: Lauren Hutton, Michael Strahan, Madonna, Terry Thomas, and Elton John. But what causes a diastema? And can you have it corrected?
- Oversized labial frenum. The labial frenum is the piece of tissue that normally extends from the inside of your upper lip to the gum just above your two upper front teeth. In some situations, the labial frenum continues to grow and passes between the two front teeth. If this happens, it blocks the natural closing of the space between these teeth.
- Thumb sucking or an abnormal swallowing pattern (the tongue can press against the anterior teeth when swallowing)
- A mismatch between the size of the jaw bones and the size of the teeth can cause extra space or crowding of teeth
If you go into the field of dentistry, you might come across a few of these. Some may want to have their gap cosmetically augmented, others may not. Having a diastema doesn’t pose a major health concern – although some may need braces if there is too much overcrowding in the mouth, which can lead to other complications.
There is no “normal” in dentistry, every person’s mouth is unique just like a finger print. As a dental assistant, it is our job to combat new obstacles in the best way possible – education. If you’ve been considering a dental career and would like to schedule a tour of the facility or enroll in the next session, give us a call!