Dental Black Triangles

A dental black triangle is the term used to describe the space at the base of the tooth between the gum and the tooth. Dentists can fill these spaces with laminates or a composite filling.

What are dental black triangles?

Dr. John Vitale: Basically, a black dental triangle is a space at the base of one’s teeth between the gum and the neck of the tooth.

What causes dental black triangles?

Dr. John Vitale: Generally, it’s caused from bone loss. Also from the loss of the interdental papilla. Basically, it’s bone loss in the particular areas.

Do black triangles make people appear older and become more self-conscious?

Dr. John Vitale: Absolutely, I think that when one smiles and you see big spaces at their gum line, it’s not very aesthetic.

Do black triangles cause problems, and what problems can result from having spaces between the teeth?

Dr. John Vitale: Well, having spaces between the teeth obviously is not very hygienic because it’s very easy to catch food in those areas and subsequently to that, the rise of more bacteria in one’s mouth. If they can be eliminated, they should be.

Is there any form of cosmetic dentistry that can help close these gaps?

Dr. John Vitale: Yes, there are a couple of methods of doing it. One is with laminates. By re-contouring the tooth and placing a veneer over the tooth, we can eliminate most of that black triangle. Another method would be using what we call a matrix that we fill in the base of teeth with. We pour a clear composite and it adheres to the tooth without destroying any of the tooth structure and closes the space.

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