When people brush their teeth, the most neglected areas are the gums. Our gums are vital for preserving our oral health, as they work to protect our teeth from damage and decay, help provide cushioning for the teeth and bones, and are one the clearest signs your body gives you about your health. Having healthy, light pink gums is a wonderful sign of good brushing habits, but one of the most subtle signs that there’s something wrong is dark triangles. Dark triangles, also known as black or dental triangles, are small, triangular spaces between the teeth where the gum line should meet. If you’ve begun noticing signs of dark triangles, here’s what you can do about it.
What Causes Dark Triangles?
Dark triangles may not seem like an emergency problem at first, but they can cause serious issues with your teeth and gums over time. Many people go about their day not knowing much about this problem, and there is a significant lack of awareness of dark triangles due to misconceptions about what they are. At least 60% of the population over the age of 20 has some degree of dark triangles, and it’s normally due to poor oral hygiene that these spaces in between the teeth appear. However, other factors can influence the development of dark triangles, including:
- The Aging Process: Dark triangles occur more frequently in older patients, specifically over 65. The aging process causes the gums to recede over time and can also cause weakened enamel, leading to higher vulnerability to disease and decay. Most often, this is due to a lack of vitamin D, which can be prevented with vitamin D supplements.
- Warning Symptoms of Gum Disease: Dark triangles can also develop due to untreated gingivitis, also known as gum disease. Gum disease normally causes the gums to be inflamed due to infection, but in more severe cases, it can cause the gums to recede over time, leading to dark triangles.
- Decaying or Diseases Tooth Roots: In cases where the tooth is infected with bacteria and creates cavities, the tooth can become so damaged that it causes the tooth roots to diverge and decay over time. In these cases, a lack of nutrition, bacterial infections, and poor oral hygiene usually leads to this problem.
- Failed Restoration Treatments: Improper dental restorations can cause dark triangles to appear due to procedure complications or missed areas left unnoticed by the previous dentist. Patients with dental triangles caused by improper treatment should visit a trusted restorative dentist for better options for repairing the failed restoration and its side effects.
What You Can Do About Dark Triangles
Dark triangles can be treated with many options, depending on the type of dentist you are referred to. Those treatments include gum contouring, veneers, inlays, gum grafts, and dental bonding procedures. So if you need help with dark triangles and want to get rid of them for good, your dentist will be able to have the best dental options for you, so schedule an appointment today!