If you have a healthy smile, your teeth are close together and the spaces between them are filled with healthy gum tissue. There is little space between the teeth. Due to some conditions, however, where the gums recede or are missing, dark spaces, or black dental triangles, called gingival embrasures, can appear between teeth.
Normally, having black dental triangles does not create any sort of dental issue. Most often, the patient is embarrassment by them. If this is something you are experiencing, there are cosmetic treatments we can do to help alleviate those dark spaces between teeth.
Where do Black Dental Triangles Come From?
If you have black dental triangles, you’re not alone. More than half of adults experience one or more black dental triangles for one reason or another. But where do they come from?
- Genetics: You may be predisposed by genetics, but more likely, there are other causes.
- Poor dental hygiene: Your gums are tissues that do not regenerate when damaged, resulting in gaps between teeth. Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day can help keep gums healthy.
- Poor dental habits: Scrubbing your teeth too vigorously can cause gums to erode.
- Age: As you age, your gums naturally recede.
- Gum disease: Gingivitis, or gum disease, is the leading cause of black dental triangles.
- Tooth shape: Teeth come in all shapes, and sometimes don’t align perfectly or are narrow at the gumline and broad at the biting surface.
- Tooth movement: When teeth separate, spaces appear between them.
- Tooth breakdown: If a tooth erodes, it can leave spaces between the tooth and the gums.
- Bad restoration: If a tooth is not restored properly, it can result in gaps, or black dental triangles.
- Teeth straightening: If your teeth were crossed and braces or other teeth straightening devices were not applied until later in adulthood, the gums can be missing in spaces previously occupied by the crooked teeth.
How Can We Treat Black Dental Triangles?
Treatment for black dental triangles is more difficult than treating the teeth themselves, but there are ways to help them become less obvious. Be aware that your treatment may need the services of your cosmetic dentist, an orthodontist and possibly an oral surgeon to achieve the results you want.
Here are some of the more common methods to treat black dental triangles:
- Reshaping of teeth: Your dental professional may be able to reshape or contour the teeth surrounding the black dental triangle. Dental appliances may be necessary to close the gap between the teeth after reshaping.
- Dental veneers: Dental veneers were created to help cover teeth imperfections. These are wafer-thin shells that are attached to the surfaces of the front teeth to help improve their appearance.
- Orthodontic treatment: When teeth aren’t aligned properly, braces can help reposition them and close spaces between teeth.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgical intervention with tissue volumizing, gum recontouring, or other regenerative methods can help eliminate black dental triangles.
Improve Your Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry from Advanced Family Dentistry in Reston, VA
You can improve the health and look of your smile with cosmetic dentistry from Advanced Family Dentistry in Reston, Virginia where we provide children, adults and seniors with exception dental care. Come talk with us about your concerns with black dental triangles and any other dental issues. And make us your family dentist for life.
Contact Advanced Family Dentistry for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Sonny Kim is a Diplomat of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), the highest education level for general dentists in this field.
Advanced Family Dentistry
Dr. Sonny Kim, DMD
11876 Sunrise Valley Dr., Suite 101
Reston, VA 20191