Gaten Matarazzo: The Truth Behind The Star’s Missing Teeth

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In the critically acclaimed Netflix series “Stranger Things,” the endearing character of Dustin Henderson is played by Gaten Matarazzo, who is 19 years old. The front teeth in Dustin’s smile look to be missing, which is something that viewers of the program may have observed. The first episode of the sitcom begins with several bullies making fun of Justin’s toothless smile, but he soon responds by saying that “his teeth are still growing in.” It has come to light that in reality, Gaten suffers from a hereditary condition known as cleidocranial dysplasia. This condition impairs the growth of all of Gaten’s bones, but most noticeably his teeth and collarbones. CCD is an extremely uncommon disease that only affects one person out of every million.

When a person has cleidocranial dysplasia, they do not have a set of baby teeth that eventually fall out and are replaced by a set of adult teeth. This does not happen to the ordinary individual. The actor of “Stranger Things” has had many procedures to have teeth removed, and he also uses a device that mechanically pulls down his teeth in addition to wearing the appliance. Because of the issue, further surgical procedures are going to be necessary over the following several years.

The actor serves as an ambassador for CCD Smiles, a nonprofit that promotes awareness of persons with CCD and financial support for those with the condition, and he is an enormous source of motivation for those who suffer from the illness. The vast majority of individuals are under the impression that health insurance will pay for any and all surgical procedures. There is a never-ending debate over whether or not the surgery is for medicinal or aesthetic reasons, which is unjust. There is no question that CCD is a medical illness; to refer to it as a cosmetic issue is ludicrous since every individual need teeth to function properly.

In spite of the fact that he has been affected by such a severe condition from infancy, he was nevertheless able to secure the most significant role of his acting career, which has helped him become one of the most famous faces in television. After seeing Gaten’s audition film, the Duffer Brothers were so blown away by his performance that they included his condition in the show. Before he was cast in Stranger Things, the only reason he wasn’t getting any major parts was that he was suffering from cleidocranial dysplasia.

Susan Kowal
Susan Kowal is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor/advisor, and health enthusiast.