Black Triangles And Your Oral Health

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When it comes to triangles, they have all sorts of associations. They’re known for being essential in navigation and other scientific practices. They also are associated with places of ill omens, such as the Bermuda triangle or its Pacific Ocean cousin, the Dragon’s Triangle. Massachusetts has the Bridgewater triangle that stretches across endless acres of forest and swampland and is known for strange goings-on. In dentistry, there’s a triangle that is easy as ominous as any of these places, the black triangle. You may have noticed them as small gaps that form between your teeth near the gumline. The concerns over these triangles, unlike some others mentioned, are far more than mere superstition.

The Ill Omens Black Triangles Have For Your Oral Health

In those over 20 years of age, black triangles are a fairly common, if unnerving, experience. The British Journal of Applied Science & Technology published several studies focused on the oral health risks of these triangles. These occur in over 50% of all dental patients over 20 years of age; there are serious implications for your oral health if they’re left unattended. There are numerous known causes of black triangles. One of the most common factors is an insufficient oral hygiene routine. However, research has shown that dental anatomy can also play a role. These embrasures, another word for dental triangles, have been linked to:

  • Dental roots that diverge after orthodontic treatment
  • Natural aging
  • Gum disease and recession
  • Spaces between the teeth
  • Abnormally shaped dental crowns or restorations

Of all the potential causes, gum disease is known to be a primary actor. Avoiding gum disease requires knowing the underlying causes and what steps you can take to protect yourself. The American Dental Association presented the following list of factors commonly associated with the advance of gum disease.

  • Poor oral hygiene practices
  • Genetics
  • Dental composition, such as crooked teeth
  • Tobacco use
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications

Aesthetics are the least of your concerns when black dental triangles are present. These gaps in your teeth make it possible for food and plaque to build up in the space created. As this debris gathers over time, it can lead to serious concerns with cavities and the like. Abscesses and tooth loss can become factors in cases where it’s left untreated long enough. Speak to your oral health provider as soon as possible if you notice these gaps.

How Dental Black Triangles Are Treated

It can become necessary to include multiple specialists to effectively eliminate these black triangles. Endodontists and periodontists are the ones most commonly involved. However, orthodontists and oral surgeons may also have a role to play.

  • Surgery: A variety of surgical procedures provide effective treatment.
  • Tissue engineering: Cells that help restore gum tissue are injected at the target site.
  • Tissue volumizing: Similar to cosmetic fillers, Hyaluronic acid may be injected to plump the gingival tissue and close the gaps.
  • Reshaping or restoration: Procedures that adjust the dental contour using fabrication or bonding.

As you work with your dentist to develop your treatment plan, they may suggest one or more of these approaches. There are pros and cons are associated with these treatment options. Which is appropriate for you will depend on your dental provider. Seek a consultation to go over your oral health concerns with your practitioner to determine how best to proceed.

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Dr. Henry Lam DMD

DR. HENRY LAM
Born and raised in Vancouver, Dr. Henry Lam received his Doctor Of Dental Medicine at the University of British Columbia and has full-time dental practice since 2005. After joining 8West Dental Care in August 2014, he’s brought valuable experience to his patients in the Calgary, AB area.

Dr. Henry Lam DMD

DR. HENRY LAM
Born and raised in Vancouver, Dr. Henry Lam received his Doctor Of Dental Medicine at the University of British Columbia and has full-time dental practice since 2005. After joining 8West Dental Care in August 2014, he’s brought valuable experience to his patients in the Calgary, AB area.

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