What’s the Real Cause of Dark Triangles between Teeth?
In a beautiful, healthy smile, the teeth should be rectangular and should sit snugly (though not too snugly) next to each other in a neat row. There should be no gaps between the teeth, either at their sides or near the gum line.
Sometimes, dark triangles appear between the teeth at the gum line. These are spaces between the teeth and the gums, and they can provide room for food to get trapped or for bacteria to proliferate.
Orthodontic treatment is often blamed for these dark spaces since they can appear after braces in North Phoenix are worn, but poor dental hygiene also gets blamed. Here’s what you need to know about those dark triangles and what causes them:
It’s important to first understand what these dark triangles represent.
Teeth should sit closely next to one another and the point where they touch is called the “contact.” This should be along the majority of the sides of each tooth.
The area above the contact (or below, depending on where you look), closest to the root of the teeth, is called the embrasure. In a healthy mouth, gum tissue should fill in the embrasure so that there is no space. The gum tissue that fills that area is referred to as the papilla.
If the papilla does not fill this space, those dark triangles appear. There is a triangular shaped gap between where the teeth contact and the papilla (gum) starts.
The shape of the teeth and the shape and size of the gum tissue at the base of the teeth are what affect whether the dark triangles appear.
Several things can contribute to whether the gum tissue does not completely fill the embrasure.
Your own genetics play a significant role. Some people just don’t have perfectly rectangular teeth. Some people have teeth that are more triangular or rounded at the sides. Even if you get orthodontic treatment in North Phoenix to straighten your teeth, those gaps are still going to appear at the embrasure because the teeth have an unusual shape that leaves larger gaps.
Getting veneers or bonding can help you close these gaps by correcting the shape of the problem teeth. Or, if your teeth are larger, you can have them reshaped by filing down the sides a bit, making them more uniform and correcting crowding issues.
People often think that getting orthodontic treatment like braces caused the gaps because they appear after the treatment is finished. However, what often occurs is that the treatment moves teeth into their proper order, eliminating overlapping and other issues that might have disguised the alignment problem or the irregular shape of the teeth. Straightening the teeth just reveals that problem – it doesn’t cause it.
The size and shape of your gums also contributes to the appearance of those dark triangles, and both anatomy and dental hygiene can contribute to the look of the papilla. For example, as you age, your gum tissue naturally decreases, so it does not completely fill the embrasure. In some people, this process may occur more quickly than in others.
Other people see a reduction in their gum tissue because of gum disease or other issues caused by poor dental hygiene. Unlike recession in some parts of the mouth, gum grafting cannot be used to put more tissue in the embrasure. There is no way to correct the gum tissue in this area of the mouth (as of yet, anyway). Orthodontic treatments like reshaping the teeth can help reduce the appearance of dark triangles in some patients who experience this problem. However, the underlying dental health issues must also be addressed to stop the further erosion of the gum tissue.
Seeing a dentist in North Phoenix regularly will help you identify issues with your oral hygiene that could contribute to the erosion of your gum tissue. During your dental exam, your dentist can also get a better idea of the shape of your teeth and gum tissue to make recommendations for your treatment.
Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead in Arizona provides comprehensive dental care, including orthodontic treatment. We provide routine dental exams to help you achieve great dental hygiene, and we provide corrective procedures such as gum surgery and dental implants in North Phoenix. We also offer a range of treatments to help you achieve a beautiful, white smile, such as teeth whitening, veneers and braces. Call us today to make an appointment for a dental exam or consultation, or to learn more about our orthodontic treatments or other services. We’ll help you correct those dark triangles or whatever other dental problems you are experiencing.
Dr. Greg Ceyhan – Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead
17100 N 67th Ave, Suite 500
Glendale, Arizona 85308
Phone: (623) 979-1515
Fax: (623) 878-1811
Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm