Black Triangle Teeth: Causes, Cost & 6 Important Ways To Fix

Black triangle teeth is one dental issue that is often misunderstood by people maybe because of the name. Black triangle teeth do not mean that the teeth will turn black and have a triangular shape. It is used to refer to those small gaps between the teeth that look like black triangle. 

Black triangle teeth also known as open gingival embrasures, are spaces between two teeth that are not filled by gum tissue. This makes the a triangular space that has black colour to appear between the teeth and gums. The British Journal of Applied Science & Technology published a review which showed that 67% of people over the age of 20 have black triangle teeth, this means that the dental condition is not rare but common.

WHAT CAUSES BLACK TRIANGLE TEETH

1. Gum Recession

This is when the gums above goes back inside instead of hugging the teeth. The gums stick to the teeth and fill the spaces between them. Certain lifestyle like smoking or other conditions like gum disease and aging can make the gum to recede back, leaving the teeth roots tonne exposed and vulnerable to attack by bacteria and plaque.

2. Bone Loss

The teeth like other parts of the body has bones. These bones near the base of the teeth can start to be lost when gum disease and osteoporosis attack them. As the bones are lost, the gum tissue is prone to recede more causing black triangles to be formed.

3. Thin and Fragile Gum Tissue 

The gum tissue around the teeth can have different levels of thickness which varies from person to person. In some people with thin tissue, their teeth is likely to develop black triangles. The National Library of Medicine in 2013 had a review which stated that having thin gum tissue is less likely to withstand difficult conditions, so if you have a dental surgery, implant, or crown, then your gums may not recover fully like they were.

4. Oral Hygiene Habits

There are some dental habits we do that can affect our gums and cause black triangle teeth. Brushing your teeth too hard can damage your gum tissues. Also, using some oral cleaners like the tiny wand brush that can scrub in-between teeth can cause black triangles if the brush is too big for the teeth spaces (National Library of Medicine, 2011).

5. Triangular Tooth Shape

The teeth can form in many shapes. While some people have rectangular teeth where the corners of the edges of the teeth are almost of the same size, other people have teeth form that makes their gum lines to be narrower than the other end thereby giving a triangular shape. As the teeth is triangular, the gums may take up the same shape.

BLACK TRIANGLE TEETH AFTER BRACES AND INVISALIGNS  

Orthodontic treatments like braces and invisaligns are for correcting teeth misalignment. They are very effective in resetting how the teeth are positioned bit they can cause black triangles to form between the teeth. Braces and invisaligns can also damage the gums because of their parts. The National Library of Medicine had a study in 2018 that showed the chances of adults who wear braces and invisaligns developing black triangle between their upper gum was 22 percent and for the lower incisor teeth was 36 percent.

Black Triangle Teeth
Photo Credit: Floridassmiles.com

HOW TO FIX BLACK TRIANGLE TEETH

1. Correct Dental Hygiene

Practising wrong dental hygiene can cause black triangles. One of the ways to prevent this dental condition is to keep the gums healthy and tight to the teeth. The tissues around the gums do not grow back when they are lost or receded, so you should take good care of them.

You should brush your teeth gently and pay close attention to the gum line. Floss your teeth gently, do not floss aggressively to avoid harming your gums (the American Dental Association (ADA). Make it a habit to see a dentist at least twice a year for dental cleaning and check-up.

2. Veneers

Veneers are placed in front of the teeth and a little over the sides of each tooth, they are placed in sets of 6 to 10 at a time. Veneers (either ceramic or porcelain) can also be used to fill in the gaps between the teeth. Your dentist will make some changes to your natural teeth shape so that the veneer can strongly bond to the teeth. Veneers can last between 18 months and 20 years which is advantageous.

3. Dental Crowns

Crowns completely cover the teeth, they can adjust the shape of the teeth including the size. To fix black triangle teeth, the crowns can be made and placed in a way that they fill in the gaps between the teeth. Your dentist will resize your teeth, take impressions and send the samples to the laboratory so that the crowns can be designed. When the designs are ready, they are fixed to the teeth. 

4. Hyaluronic Acid

Most people know hyaluronic acid as only dermal fillers or can be used in treating migraines, another use of this acid is that when applied to the gum tissues, it can restrain bacteria and stimulate new blood vessels to be developed. The injection is preferred by medical experts than surgeries because it is less painful and the gum tissue can heal quickly.

5. Braces and Invisaligns

Braces and invisaligns can be used to fix or correct black triangle teeth. They are placed to move the teeth close to each other and remove the gaps. Using orthodontic treatments may take a longer time to correct black triangle teeth but they give a beautiful result at the end.

6. Surgical Procedures

Surgeries can be used to remove black triangle gaps. One of such procedure is tissue grafting and can only be done by a periodontist. A small amount of tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth and placed over areas with receding gums. If bone loss is the cause of the black triangle teeth, bone material may be removed from any part of the mouth and placed at the base of your tooth to increase the bones. 

Another procedure that is considered less invasive is the pinhole technique. This involves loosing the teeth gum and reattaching it in a way that creates no gaps. Collagen strips are used to perform this procedure. In 2017, the National Library of Medicine conducted a study with 5 participants and the result recorded 96.7 percent effectiveness in correcting black triangle teeth.

BLACK TRIANGLE TEETH BONDING

This is another way of repairing black triangle teeth using dental bonding. The material used for bonding is similar to the type used for dental fillings. The material is bonded to the teeth to cover black triangle teeth, it can also be use to cover badly shaped teeth or stains. It does not involve surgery, drilling or incisions. 

The dentist roughen the tooth enamel so as to make the bond with the teeth tighter. Dental bonds come in different colors so your dentist will select the best match for your teeth, adjust the bond or composite and fill in the teeth. 

HOW TO PREVENT BLACK TRIANGLE TEETH

Preventing your teeth from having gaps in-between them is better than allowing the gaps to develop and then you start to look for remedies. Even if you notice the gaps are starting to form, there are ways you can stop them from becoming bigger and wider. Some of the ways are:

  1. Scheduling dental appointment to remove bacteria and plaque from receding your gum or reducing your bones.
  2. Avoid poking at your gum with any object.
  3. Gently floss your teeth or rinse with a water flosser instead of forcefully flossing up and down thereby causing your gums to recede.

COST OF FIXING BLACK TRIANGLE TEETH

There is no fixed cost for correcting black triangle teeth because there are many treatment methods, each comes with its own price. Dental bonding can cost as much as $430 to $500. The American Dental Association estimated the cost of getting veneers to be between $925 and $2,500 per tooth. Getting a porcelain veneer full set will range between $10,000 and $20,000 while composite resin veneers cost between $659 to $1,450 (per tooth).

Dental crowns cost $500 to $3,000 per tooth depending on the type of material used. Only porcelain crown can cost between $800 – $3,000 per tooth and when it is fused with metal, it can cost between $800 and $1,400 per tooth. Using braces to fix black triangle teeth can cost you $3,000 – 7,000 for metal braces, $4,000 – $8,000 for ceramic and $4,000 – $7,400 for invisalign. Dental surgeries like gum tissue graft can cost between $700 to $1,000 per procedure. You have to choose the best option that matches your budget.

CONCLUSION

Black triangle teeth are not teeth with black triangles or colors on them, rather they are those gaps that are formed when the gum tissue does not fill the spaces between the teeth. It can develop due to reasons like poor dental hygiene habit, braces, gum recession and others.

There are so many methods that can be used to correct this condition and their prices vary so you have to go for the procedure that suits your budget. Removing black triangle teeth can give you back your beautiful smile.

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