Neighboring teeth have a separating piece of soft gingival tissue between the bases to help keep food and bacteria from becoming lodged in the middle. The tissue also provides a cosmetic service in making teeth seem closer together and preventing gaps from showing through. Sometimes the gingival tissue recedes or fails to form properly and a triangular shaped gap appears. This gap is called a black triangle.

If you have black triangles that are hurting your self-confidence about your smile, there are a few different ways your cosmetic dentist can help.

Resin Filling

Did the black triangle or triangles happen due to a lack of gingival growth rather than gum recession? If your gums are otherwise healthy, your dentist might opt to close the triangle using the same type of composite resin filling that is used when filling dental cavities.

The resin can be tinted to match your natural teeth before the material is carefully added only to the black section between your teeth. Resin is durable especially in areas such as between the teeth where chewing bite force isn't an issue. But resin is also subject to staining and can't be bleached like natural teeth. Keep up with your oral healthcare and avoid eating and drinking as many staining substances as possible.

Dental Veneers

Do you have a black triangle and the start of gingival recession? You can't reverse the recession, but proper oral healthcare can stop the recession from worsening. Your dentist can cover this deeper type of black triangle using dental veneers.

Veneers are porcelain or resin pieces that are bonded onto the front of your tooth to subtly redesign the tooth's shape or position. Affixing a veneer to one or both sides of the triangle can close the gap and improve the overall appearance of your smile.

The veneer route is particularly recommended if the existing teeth have other cosmetic defects such as intrinsic staining, a large chip, or a notable size disparity. Teeth are filed down a bit to accommodate the veneer so your dentist can correct any size issues during the veneer process.

Gum Graft  

Are the teeth around the triangle healthy but the gums have experienced moderate to severe recession? Your dentist could fix the triangle using a gum graft.

Soft tissue is taken from another part of your mouth – often the roof – and stitched onto the receded gum tissue. The two sections of tissue will fuse together during the healing process. Grafting gives a natural look to an area that had a black triangle.