Fixing Black Triangles Between Teeth
Have you noticed black triangle shaped spaces between your teeth where they meet the gums?
Black triangles aren’t uncommon, but they are often a symptom of an underlying oral health problem. These small gaps can also be a cosmetic concern, leaving you to feel like your smile isn’t as beautiful and youthful in appearance as it should be. For these reasons, it’s a great idea to have your dentist take a look if you’re noticing black triangles forming between your teeth.
While waiting for your appointment, here’s the lowdown on what black triangles are, why they develop, and how your dentist can treat the problem.
What are black triangles, and why do they happen?
The proper term for black triangles is “open gingival embrasures.” They are a specific type of gap between the uppermost part of the teeth, where they meet the gumline. The gaps usually look triangular or round and can occur on upper or lower teeth. Black triangles happen more often on the anterior, or front teeth.
Open gingival embrasures develop when the gum tissue begins to recede and pull back from the teeth. There are three main reasons why your smile might develop these triangular gaps.
1. Gum Disease
Gum disease is the leading cause of gum recession and, therefore, often the culprit for black triangles. Healthy gum tissue is plump and will snugly fill that space around the teeth. When gum disease strikes, the tissue can shrink up and away, especially in between teeth. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, aging, and even medication can contribute to gum recession too.
2. Bone Loss
Bone resorption in the jawbone causes the bone to shrink in size. This usually happens after a tooth is removed and not replaced with a dental implant, but it can also occur because of gum disease or osteoporosis. A combination of wiggly teeth, black triangles, and shrinking gum tissue are all signs of bone loss in the jaw.
3. Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene habits can also exacerbate gum recession and lead to black triangles. Poor oral hygiene, meaning not brushing and flossing often or thoroughly enough, is a possibility. Another is actually brushing and flossing too much or too vigorously. Brushing hard against the gums, especially with anything but a soft-bristled toothbrush, can lead to gum recession.
Can I reverse this condition at home?
In most cases, no, you won’t be able to fix the black triangles between your teeth at home.
This is because those gaps are a symptom of an oral health issue or poor oral hygiene. Both of these problems will require a dentist’s help. Even if your gum recession is because of harsh brushing, changing your habits will help, but your gum tissue has already been damaged and will be vulnerable to gingivitis or gum disease.
With that said, you can begin to prioritize your oral health and adopt healthy brushing or flossing habits now. Eating a nutritious diet and taking great care of your smile at home will ensure your dentist’s treatment plan is as effective as possible with long-lasting results.
How can a dentist fix the gaps in my smile?
So, how does a dentist go about fixing gaps between teeth? The first step is an examination of your smile to determine what has caused the open gingival embrasures.
Your dentist will evaluate your overall oral health, take X-rays of your smile, and form a diagnosis for what the underlying cause of the black triangles between your teeth is. In most cases, the cause will be apparent, such as visible signs of gum disease or X-rays showing bone resorption around the affected teeth and gums.
If you have something like gum disease, your dentist will treat this first. After treatment, you might find that your black triangles disappear on their own as your gums return to a healthy state. If your black triangles remain even after achieving optimal gum health, your dentist may recommend a cosmetic dentistry service for your smile makeover.
At Valley Dental Clinic, we provide several restorative and cosmetic dentistry services, but one of our favorites is Bioclear. Bioclear is a unique veneer-like cosmetic procedure that’s perfect for correcting chipped teeth, permanent stains, and those dreaded black triangles between teeth. It allows us to preserve your tooth’s natural enamel while providing long-lasting, beautiful results.
End your struggle with black triangles at Valley Dental Clinic.
If you have developed black triangles in your smile or have noticed your gums receding, we encourage you to schedule a consultation as soon as possible. Healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth, and we want to ensure your smile is in tip-top shape.
You can book a visit today by calling our Wasilla, AK, office or requesting an appointment online.