An attractive smile is a healthy balance between the teeth, gums, lips, and negative space in your mouth. But there’s one thing that can really throw off the appearance of your smile: the formation of black triangles between your teeth.

These black triangles form around the bases of your teeth, showing the spaces between your teeth and gums. This can make your smile look unattractive for many reasons. Fortunately, there are many ways to repair your smile and eliminate the black triangles.

attractive young woman sitting on park bench

What Causes Black Triangles between Teeth

Your teeth and gums should fill the space of your smile. The high contrast between your lips, gums, and teeth draws the eye and creates an attractive appearance. But when your teeth and gums don’t fill that space, what’s left is negative space. These are black triangles that show through into your mouth.

For many people, black triangles are developmental. They are one consequence of crooked teeth, crowded teeth, triangular-shaped teeth, or teeth that are too small.

Receding gums are the most common cause of developing black triangles. As your gums begin receding, among the first things to go are the interdental papilla, the parts of the gums that fill up the space between your teeth. As these papilla go, they leave an empty space behind. Gum disease, aggressive tooth brushing, oral piercings, orthodontics, and other factors can contribute to receding gums.

Other times, black triangles can be caused by imperfect cosmetic dentistry work. This can include over-aggressive gum recontouring as well as porcelain veneers or dental crowns that are not properly sized or placed, leaving space below or around them.

Gum Grafting Restores Gums

Once we’ve figured out the cause of your receding gums and addressed it, a gum graft can restore your gums to their former, healthy position.

A gum graft takes gum tissue from elsewhere in your mouth and moves it to the area where your gums are receding. This eliminates the appearance of black triangles, and has the ability to cover exposed roots, which can reduce sensitivity and help preserve your teeth.

BioClear Reshapes Teeth

On the other hand, gum grafting may not be the best choice for you, especially if receding gums are not the cause of your black triangles. If black triangles are primarily caused by the shape of your teeth, BioClear is a great way to reshape your teeth and give you the appearance of a full, attractive smile.

BioClear is a flowable composite. We create a mold around each tooth using a clear, flexible thin sheet. Then we pour the flowable composite into the mold, allowing it to settle, filling in around your tooth and creating a newly reshaped tooth that fills the space, eliminating the black triangles.

BioClear has the benefit that it preserves your natural tooth structure, and because it’s more dense, it’s also more stain resistant than traditional dental bonding. BioClear is a fully reversible solution. If you get tired of it or the composite reaches the end of its natural life, the composite can be removed, revealing your natural teeth again. BioClear is also the least expensive option for eliminating black triangles around your teeth.

Porcelain Veneers and Crowns Rebuild Teeth

Looking for a more long-termsolution? Porcelain veneers also reshape your natural teeth to eliminate black triangles. Porcelain veneers usually require that we remove some of your tooth material to make room for the veneers’re also more expensive than BioClear.

But veneers do offer benefits that for some people make them a better option. Porcelain veneers provide the most natural appearance because the ceramic has a luster more like natural tooth enamel. Porcelain veneers are also more protective and work well if black triangles are caused by tooth erosion (such as from bulimia or frequent consumption of acidic foods and drinks).

If your teeth have suffered extensive damage, we may need to go a little further and use porcelain crowns that can completely cover and protect your teeth. Crowns are just as attractive as veneers, but they provide protection. Crowns are highly effective against acidic erosion. The material resists attack from acids much better than your natural tooth enamel. 

Invisalign Can Reposition Teeth

Sometimes, the space between your teeth causes or worsens black triangles. In this case, orthodontic treatments like Invisalign might be ideal for closing up the spaces between teeth and giving you a more attractive smile.

Will this type of approach will be effective? It depends on the shape of your teeth and the health of your gums. If you have triangular teeth, Invisalign  is unlikely to be the full solution. If you don’t have healthy gums, orthodontic treatment can actually accelerate receding gums, causing black triangles to reappear. 

Maintaining Your More Attractive Smile

Once you have fixed the problem of black triangles, it’s important to take steps to make sure they don’t return. You also want to protect the restorations you got, such as veneers, crowns, or BioClear.

When we evaluate you for restorations, your dentist will analyze your bite. We must determine whether you are putting excessive force on your teeth or clenching and grinding your teeth. This can damage veneers, crowns, and BioClear, causing them to fail early. Based on the findings, we might recommend steps to alter your bite, or we may recommend simply wearing a night guard to protect your restorations.

Make sure you’re practicing good home hygiene to avoid future receding gums. This includes regular brushing and flossing, but you need to make sure you’re not brushing too hard. You will also need to make regular dental appointments for checkups and cleanings. 

Get Rid of Black Triangles in Irvine, CA

If you are unhappy with black triangles in your teeth, please call (949) 551-5902 today for an appointment with an Orange County cosmetic dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.