What are the causes of diastema?

Diastema is a space between two permanent teeth, typically the upper central incisors (front teeth).

Baby teeth have gaps called primate spaces. These are normal and necessary to allow enough room for the permanent teeth to come in.

The most common cause of diastema in adult teeth is malocclusion, or poor fit between the teeth of the upper and lower jaws. This usually can be corrected with orthodontics.

Another common cause of diastema is a short labial frenum. The labial frenum is found at the mid line inside the upper lip, and it is a flap of mucosa and connective tissue that holds the upper lip close to the teeth. If this tissue is short and too tight, it can result in the diastema. This problem can usually be corrected with a minor surgical procedure called a labial frenectomy. This is sometimes done in conjunction with orthodontics to move the teeth together.