How to Treat Diastema? Causes, treatment, and FAQ

How To Treat Diastema
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Diastema is a gap between two or more of the upper front teeth. It often occurs because the teeth are slightly larger than their socket space, but it can also be caused by genetics, prolonged thumb-sucking during childhood, or the loss of adult teeth. Diastema is often considered a minor aesthetic issue, although it has been found to have psychological effects on self-esteem in some cases.

In this article, you will learn how to treat diastema, the gap between your front teeth. Discover dental procedures, home remedies, and lifestyle changes to close the gap and achieve a beautiful smile.

Who Is at Risk of Having a Diastema?

Children are particularly at risk of developing a diastema, as gaps between teeth are quite common during early childhood. These gaps may close naturally once permanent teeth emerge, but this is not always the case for every child.

Beyond age-related factors, certain ethnic groups are more prone to experiencing diastemas. Specifically, individuals of Hispanic, African-American, and Amerindian backgrounds tend to have a higher frequency of these gaps compared to other ethnic groups.

Worth Knowing

According to the study conducted on a group of people in Hyderabad, India, and published in the Indian Journal of Applied Research, it was found that midline diastema is more common in males than in females.

Does Diastema Increase with Age?

The relationship between diastema and age is not straightforward. Diastemas are commonly seen in children and are part of normal dental development. As children grow and their permanent teeth emerge, these gaps often close on their own, a process facilitated by the natural growth of the jaw and the alignment of adult teeth.

In contrast, for adults, the situation is different. Once the jaw has fully developed and all permanent teeth have erupted, diastemas tend to remain relatively stable. They don’t naturally increase with age unless there are specific contributing factors. For example, periodontal disease can lead to the loosening and shifting of teeth, potentially widening existing gaps. Similarly, certain prolonged habits from childhood, such as thumb sucking, may lead to or maintain diastemas into adulthood. Thus, while diastemas can be present at any age, their progression or emergence in later life typically requires an external cause.

Is Diastema a Serious Problem and How Does it Affect the Oral Cavity?

Diastema is a dental condition that many individuals experience without any associated health risks. However, the presence of a diastema can have implications for oral health and aesthetics.

In terms of oral health, a diastema itself does not directly cause problems, but the underlying reasons for the gap can be a concern. For example, if the diastema results from gum disease, which leads to the weakening and recession of the gums and supporting bone structure, this could pose a serious risk to oral health. Additionally, habits like incorrect swallowing reflexes or prolonged thumb sucking can also contribute to diastema and may affect the oral cavity’s overall alignment and function.

Aesthetically, a diastema may affect a person’s smile and confidence, leading some to seek orthodontic treatment for cosmetic reasons.

Related post: 6MM Gap in Teeth.

Causes of Diastema

Oversized Labial Frenum

The labial frenum is a soft tissue structure that connects the inner layer of gum tissue from the upper lip to the gums surrounding the upper teeth, and when it is too thick or short, it tends to pull away the central incisor teeth resulting in noticeable gaps between them.

This abnormality can cause these teeth to shift, form overlapping or improper spacing or even become loose due to lack of support provided by their neighboring teeth.

Missing Teeth

Missing teeth is one of the most common causes of diastema as the absence of one or more teeth can lead to adjacent teeth drifting into the empty space, creating gaps. This movement can disrupt the overall alignment of the teeth, leading to spaces between them that were not present before.

Worth Knowing

Although it is not possible to prevent all cases of diastema if the cause is due to gum disease or bad habits you can improve the condition by practicing good oral hygiene such as brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing, having regular dental examinations, and avoiding thumb sucking in children.

Loss of Primary Teeth in Children

When baby teeth are lost too early, they may not be replaced by the permanent adult tooth.  This leads to a space where the tooth did not grow in or it grew crookedly.  As a result of this space, other teeth surrounding it may shift outwards into the space, forming a large gap between them.

Gum Disease

The absence of regular preventative maintenance for gum disease in children can lead to diastema. Early preventive care with regular professional cleanings and at-home brushing habits are essential in preventing or limiting the severity of diastema in children. Additionally, parents should also ensure that their child visits their dentist routinely to catch any oral changes quickly, allowing for optimal long-term health outcomes.

Worth Knowing

An article from the National Library of Medicine from the Department of Public Health Dentistry in India stated that poor oral health has a huge impact on children who can suffer from dental pain, abscesses, gum disease, and damaged teeth which can cause distress.

Incorrect Swallow

An incorrect swallow, often called a tongue thrust, can cause diastema. This happens when the tongue presses too hard against the front teeth during swallowing. Over time, this pressure can push the teeth outward, creating gaps. Correcting this habit through therapy or exercises can help prevent or reduce the gap.

Teeth Are too Small for the Jawbone

Having teeth that are too small for one’s jaw can cause gaps in between the teeth, which can be an aesthetically displeasing sight. Unfortunately, this problem can also cause more complex issues such as difficulty speaking, chewing, and even reduced confidence due to the feeling of having a crooked smile and gaps between the teeth.

Habits Such as Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is a common habit, especially in children, that can lead to diastema. When a child frequently sucks their thumb, the constant pressure can push the front teeth forward, creating a gap. Stopping this habit early on is important to prevent or minimize the development of spaces between the teeth.

How to Treat Diastema?

Treating diastema involves various methods depending on the underlying cause and the size of the gap. From orthodontic solutions to cosmetic dentistry, there are several ways to address and close the spaces between teeth, improving both function and aesthetics. Here’s a look at some of the common treatment options available.


Prevention plays an important role in treating diastema, especially when addressing habits or conditions that contribute to the development of gaps between teeth. Early intervention in habits such as thumb sucking or incorrect swallowing patterns can significantly reduce the risk of diastema formation. Regular dental check-ups and maintaining good oral hygiene are also key preventive measures, as they help identify and manage potential issues before they lead to gaps.

For those with a genetic predisposition to a diastema, monitoring and preventive care can be particularly beneficial in managing the spacing between teeth from an early age.


Frenectomy is a specific treatment option for diastema when the cause is an oversized or misaligned labial frenum, the tissue connecting the upper lip to the gums. If this tissue extends too far down between the front teeth, it can prevent them from coming together, resulting in a gap.

A frenectomy involves surgically removing or reshaping this tissue, which can allow the teeth to move closer together. Often, this procedure is combined with orthodontic treatment to ensure the teeth align properly and the gap closes effectively. The downtime for this procedure is minimal and generally involves a day or so of eating soft foods.  Results tend to appear within three weeks after healing.


Braces are a common and effective treatment for diastema, particularly when the gaps between teeth are due to misalignment or uneven spacing. By applying consistent pressure, braces gradually move the teeth into better positions, closing the gaps. This orthodontic solution can be tailored to individual needs, making it suitable for both minor and more significant diastemas.


Aligners offer a modern and less visible alternative to traditional braces for treating diastema. These clear, custom-fitted trays gently guide the teeth into their correct positions over time, effectively closing gaps. Ideal for those seeking a more discreet orthodontic solution, aligners are removable, making it easier to maintain oral hygiene during treatment. They are particularly effective for mild to moderate diastemas and come with the added benefit of allowing patients to see their progress, as the aligners are changed every few weeks to continue the teeth’s movement toward the desired alignment.

See our article: Can you Have Aligners on the Top or Bottom Teeth Only?

Invisible aligners are the most popular choice with patients as they are an affordable and efficient solution to teeth straightening whilst allowing for the process to be completed discreetly.

Here are some reviews of the best invisible aligners available:

Byte Review – The top pick of this aligner is the most affordable option and has a lifetime guarantee.  This product also includes a free HyperBite and teeth whitening kit with every purchase.



An affordable option with refundable impression kits, free HyperByte, and a Byte for Life guarantee.

Check out Byte Aligners

Candid Review – The most similar to Invisalign aligners with hybrid in-office care this product has great reviews from its customers.



A hybrid of in-office and at-home treatment that provides 1-on-1 orthodontist support.

Check out Candid Aligners

ALIGNERCO – The best-priced option that comes with a zero deposit option for monthly payment plans. A seasonal discount for aligner packages is available for just $945.



The cheapest at-home aligners, with monthly plans, no down payment, and considerable discounts.

Check out AlignerCo Aligners


Veneers are a cosmetic treatment option for diastema, particularly suitable when the gaps are not too wide and the overall alignment of the teeth is good. These thin shells of porcelain or composite material are custom-made to fit over the front surface of the teeth, effectively closing the gaps and enhancing the smile’s appearance. Veneers can be matched to the color of the natural teeth, providing a seamless and aesthetically pleasing result.

This option is popular for its quick transformation and minimal invasiveness, making it an attractive choice for those looking to address diastema without orthodontic treatment.

See also: Veneers That Look Natural

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a straightforward and minimally invasive procedure often used to treat diastema. In this process, a tooth-colored resin material is applied to the sides of the teeth adjacent to the gap. The resin is then shaped and polished to match the natural teeth, effectively closing the space. Bonding is a popular choice for its quick and cost-effective solution to small gaps, offering immediate improvements without the need for extensive dental work.


Dental implants offer a durable and permanent solution for treating diastema caused by missing teeth. An implant, which is a titanium post, is surgically placed into the jawbone to act as a root for an artificial tooth. Once the implant integrates with the bone, a custom-made crown is attached to fill the gap. This method not only closes the space but also restores full functionality and appearance to the smile.

Dental Bridge

A dental bridge is an effective solution for closing gaps caused by one or more missing teeth, which can result in diastema. The bridge consists of crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap, with a false tooth (or teeth) in between. These artificial teeth are custom-made to blend seamlessly with the natural teeth, restoring the appearance and function of the smile. Dental bridges are anchored to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the space, providing a stable and durable option for treating diastema.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Treat Diastema at Home?

Treating diastema effectively at home can be achieved by adopting healthy habits to improve the appearance of your teeth.

This includes flossing and brushing twice daily and eating a nutritious diet that includes essential vitamins, minerals, and calcium-rich foods including dairy products, nuts, and greens.

How Can I Close Diastema?

There are several different options when it comes to treatment to close gaps between teeth.  These include braces, invisible aligners, bridges, veneers, dental bonding, implants, frenectomy, and of course prevention which includes looking after your teeth better.

How Do I Get Rid of Diastema Without Braces?

A popular way to deal with gaps in teeth that don’t involve wearing braces is dental bonding.

This involves the application of tooth-colored resin material to close gaps.  This procedure often only requires one visit and can last for several years with proper maintenance.


Abreu LG, Paiva SM, Pordeus IA, Martins CC., Breastfeeding, bottle feeding and risk of malocclusion in mixed and permanent dentitions: a systematic review, Braz Oral Res 2016; 30. DOI: 10.1590/1807-3107BOR-2016.vol30.0022. Available at: Breastfeeding, bottle feeding and risk of malocclusion in mixed and permanent dentitions: a systematic review.

Annyam C., Kalla K., Prevalence of maxillary midline diastema according to gender in a population of Hyderabad. Indian Journal Of Applied Research. 2024. DOI: 10.36106/ijar/4000509. Available at:

Zakria Jaija, A. M., El-Beialy, A. R., Mostafa, Y. A., Revisiting the Factors Underlying Maxillary Midline Diastema, Scientifica 2019, DOI: Available online at:

Sinha, N., Shankar, D., Vaibhav, V., Vyas, T., Singh, A., Parihar, A. S., Oral Health-Related Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents of the Indian population, J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2020, DOI: 10.4103/jpbs.JPBS_113_20. Available online at:

Iza Wojnarowski

Content contributor

Iza is a dedicated content contributor for Toothific. Having worn braces twice and currently using Invisalign to correct a mild overbite, Iza brings a unique perspective to her writing. She spends her time staying updated on the latest dental trends and treatments, ensuring her readers have the most current information for their dental care needs.

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