Have you ever noticed a triangular gap between your tooth and gum line? That gap is commonly called a ‘black Triangle’, also known as “Open Gingival Embrasures.”
According to research, “One-third of adults have unaesthetic black triangles worldwide.”
Black triangles are not considered unhealthy or problematic; however, they do have an undesirable appearance and may affect a person’s self-esteem. Luckily, there are treatments available to correct this condition!
Why do Black Triangles in Teeth Appear?
These small triangles occur due to the shape of the teeth, a lack of gum tissue, and/or gum disease (caused by poor hygiene). As we get older, our gums naturally start to recede. This is why black triangles often appear in adults.
Other causes of black triangles include nail picking, aggressive flossing, and excessive tooth picking.
In the case of orthodontic treatment, the alignment process of your teeth may reveal black triangles; yet, they are not the source of black triangles.
Black triangles can be problematic because they have an undesirable appearance, and they can harbor food particles, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
But how do you prevent them in the first place, and what can you do once they appear? Here’s what you need to know.
Can Black Triangles be Prevented?
You cannot always avoid black triangles. In fact, some spacing between your teeth is natural and can be helpful for cleaning purposes. However, if the space is vast, you can reduce it by committing to a strong oral hygiene routine.
When you have black triangles, it is essential to follow a rigorous oral routine, including flossing, brushing your teeth thoroughly, using mouthwash, and attending all of your dental cleaning appointments. These activities will keep your gums healthy by preventing inflammation and bone loss around the teeth. Visiting your dentist regularly is incredibly important for him or her to monitor your gum and dental health.
Can Orthodontics Cause Black Triangles?
The belief that black triangles are caused by orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign, is false. Orthodontic treatment doesn’t cause black triangles; it simply exposes them.
When your teeth are aligned, receding gums or lack of gum tissue between the teeth can expose these black triangles.
If you visit a highly-qualified orthodontist, you do not have to fear gum loss or black triangles due to orthodontic treatment.
Triangles and Orthodontic Treatment
If you notice a small triangle between your teeth, we can provide orthodontic treatment to close it!
At Spannhake Orthodontics, Dr. Spannhake can treat black triangles using Interproximal Reduction (IPR), Invisalign® or braces.
- Braces and Invisalign
Your orthodontist may recommend treatment with braces or Invisalign to reduce the appearance of black triangles. The treatment consists of applying direct pressure to specific teeth to encourage movement towards a proper alignment. Shifting the teeth into alignment can effectively eliminate black triangles.
- Interproximal Reduction (IPR)
Interproximal Reduction is a technique performed by highly-skilled orthodontists to close black triangles. The treatment is performed by hand, using flexible diamond coated strips that are worked back and forth between your teeth. A tiny part of the tooth enamel is trimmed, which will allow your teeth to be pushed closer together. Thus reducing the black triangles and spaces your gum needs to fill between teeth.
We understand the presence of black triangles can leave patients feeling self- conscious about their smile. We want you to feel confident during and after your orthodontic treatment! Our team uses the latest technologies, techniques, and materials to ensure that you achieve the best possible results!