Dental Black Triangles and Their Causes

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Healthy smiles consist of teeth that have little space between them. There should be a small layer of gums between them. Spaces can occur, however, when the gums begin to recede. These spaces are called black triangles and can impact your smile and overall dental health. Luckily, there are ways to treat these triangles. Hopefully, this article will help you understand the causes and the treatments for black triangles.

Black Triangles and Their Causes

While black triangles aren’t talked about often, they’re widespread. They’ve been seen in over 60% of people over 20. Black triangles can affect your smile negatively, which can also lead to a lack of confidence in your smile. Sometimes these spaces are genetic; sometimes, they’re caused by other factors. These factors include:

  • Aging: Black triangles are present in a majority of people over 20. But the percentage is higher in individuals as they get older. Maturing can lead to a natural lessening of the gums, impacting enamel. This is primarily due to a lack of Vitamin D and calcium retention.
  • A disease of the gums: In the population between the ages of 20 and 65, this condition is often caused by gum disease. This can also lead to degradation of the enamel and recession of the gum line.
  • Tooth root divergence: This is a rare cause, but the root of the tooth can deviate and cause spaces in the teeth.
  • Problems in tooth restoration: If there are complications in repairing teeth, it can cause black triangles. Poor tooth restoration can also lead to a number of other oral problems.

Black triangles are largely brought up to dentists for cosmetic reasons. However, an aesthetically pleasing smile isn’t the only reason to treat these triangles. Leaving them untreated can lead to more oral problems, such as increased tooth decay and buildup of plaque and debris. The earlier you bring these triangles up to your dentist, the more problems you can avoid.

Treatment Options for Black Triangles

Black triangles can be tricky to treat. It is a process that requires the help of multiple specialists and can be a lengthy procedure. It often requires the involvement of oral surgeons, orthodontists, and other cosmetic dentists. While it is a lengthy course of action, the triangles can be completely eliminated over time. Even if the triangles are excised, you still need to keep up with basic dental hygiene to prevent them from appearing again. Options to remove the triangles include:

  • Adjustment of the teeth: A modification of the teeth by reshaping them can help fill the spaces.
  • Gum veneers: A specialized veneer can cover the spaces that form between the teeth. Again, regular brushing and flossing are required to prevent the re-emergence of the spaces.
  • Orthodontic Methods: In some cases, the triangles are caused by poorly aligned teeth. If this happens, braces are needed to correct the problem.
  • Surgery: Sometimes, volume needs to be added to the tissue, the teeth need to be recontoured, and other regenerative methods are needed to remove the black triangles.

Regular dental hygiene can prevent the presentation of these spaces in the teeth. A dental appointment is imperative to start treatment as early as possible if they do occur.

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Dr. Brian Black

Dr. Brian P. Black was born and raised in Southern California. He graduated from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD) in May 2000 and then completed advanced training in the U.S. Air Force. He has had a broad experience within the dental industry. Dr. Brian is proudly serving his patients in Rancho Mirage, CA area.

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