Oral healthcare. Dental Dictionary (III): diastema, prosthodontics and baby bottle syndrome.

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On Oviedo & Miranda Dental Clinic of Lanzarote post for this week we resume, in its third installment, our Dental Dictionary, with which we pretend to bring closer to our readers those concepts and usual and daily terminology in the dentistry world.

In this case, we are going to analyze three concepts: diastema, prosthodontics and the so called baby bottle syndrome. We hope these lines be useful to you to know more about them.


Diastema is the small gap between two teeth. Usually we use this term to refer the separation of the upper incisors. It happens when there is disproportion between the size of the of the teeth and the jaw. It can appear as a sign of acromegaly although it is not pathognomonic.

It can be localized or generalized. This last one is frequent in children due to the fact that temporal teeth have smaller dimensions than permanent teeth. This gap appears when there is positive bone-tooth discrepancy. In some cases it is necessary to carry out an orthodontic treatment.

In the Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer makes a reference to the woman with the teeth gap. In medieval times and in certain folklore, this gap was associated with lustful or with way above average women with carnal desire.



Prosthodontics or dental prothesis is the branch of dentistry that is responsible for bringing back the function, anatomy, phonation and aesthetics that are altered in the stomatognatic system as a consequence of the loss of one or more teeth. These protheses may be fixed, as a bridge, or removable protheses if they can be removed. They can also be partial or complete depending on the condition if they comprise a limited number of teeth or the whole arcade respectively.

The prosthodontics is a device whose aim is to restore the mastication function, stability in the occlusal, phonetic and aesthetic relationship. This one can be cemented, put screws on or mechanically united to a natural tooth, to an implanted pillar or a tooth in a root state, being able to replace one or multiple pieces up to the entire amount of dental arcades.



The baby bottle syndrome is a common condition in children of six months of age up until six years of age in the dental structures that we commonly call baby teeth, caused by the intake of sweetened fluids for long periods of time.

It is characterized by the destruction of the enamel and the coronary structure. In some cases the caries are so severe that may cause fever, lack of appetite and, as a consequence of this, poor nutrition on children.

It firstly appears in the upper molars due to the position of the intake of fluids that generally is when the baby is laid down on their backs or slightly on their sides. Subsequently, it extends to the lower molars, which are protected a bit more by structures such as tongue and the constant transit of saliva.


  • The ideal thing would be the elimination of the nightly baby bottle. It is recommended that, after the breast-feeding phase, to begin using a training glass.
  • To create a cleaning habit. Firstly the mother will clean the structures (gum) with a moisten gauze and so forth when the teeth go erupting and is necessary to replace that habit by the use of the toothbrush.
  • To create in the infant a conscience of prevention, visits to the specialist twice a year and brushing their teeth three times a day. This, besides giving us the certainty that they have oral health, will generate in the infants trust in the dentist and will make them good patients in the future.


Photograph: www.freedigitalphotos.net

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