Monday, March 20, 2017
So you’ve noticed there’s a black space between your teeth that’s shaped like a triangle. It didn’t used to be there and then it was just kinda small and now it’s a pretty big gap. WHAT is going on? Are your teeth separating? Probably not. Are they thinning on the sides? Doubtful . Are your teeth shrinking? Most unlikely.
WHAT CAUSES BLACK TRIANGLES BETWEEN YOUR TEETH?
Chances are your gums have started to recede from too much brushing, brushing too hard or periodontal disease. The gum in between your teeth, also called papilla, follows along the shape of your bone and if you start to lose that bone, your gums recede or shrink to the bone. That’s why that triangle started out small but got bigger as more bone was lost. There simply isn’t enough gum to fill the space between your teeth. And, sometimes food gets stuck in those triangles, right? Not only is this annoying and can make you self-conscious, but also it can cause excessive plaque buildup.
CAN I STOP THE RECESSION?
If the recession is caused by brushing too hard, you may be able to slow it by not brushing so vigorously. Sometimes we try to clean our teeth too aggressively or too often. If you aren’t using a soft bristle toothbrush, start by changing to one. When you brush, don’t brush so hard; you’re not scrubbing the grout from between your bathroom tiles! Make sure you’re brushing, not scrubbing.
If the recession is caused by poor oral hygiene and your recession is pretty mild, you can still get back on track. Start flossing and brushing twice daily using an anti-bacterial toothpaste and rinse with an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Be sure to visit your dentist or periodontist twice a year for cleaning and maintenance. You may need to go every three months for a little while to get your mouth back in fighting shape.
If your recession is more severe, you may have gum disease or periodontitis. Your best bet is to schedule an appointment with a Periodontist. They can do a deeper cleaning than a General Dentist and can work with you to determine if you need additional treatment or care.
CAN THE BLACK TRIANGLE BE FIXED?
It may be repairable to a point. Depending on the size of the triangle, a periodontist may be able to fill in some of the gum using the Pinhole technique, a minimally invasive procedure that extends the gum line. There are some variables that are involved so your best bet is to visit a periodontist for a consultation to determine your individualized treatment.
YOUR ORAL HEALTH IS THE KEY TO OVERALL HEALTH
Remember, your oral health is the gateway to your body’s overall health. Keeping your mouth healthy helps keep your body healthy. Most people don’t realize that many diseases are linked to periodontal disease, like heart disease, pancreatic cancer and diabetes to name just a few. Staying on top of your oral care is very important to your general health so don’t let it get away from you. Black triangles aren’t the only sign that you may have gum issues. Make sure you’re aware of any changes you notice in your mouth and don’t be afraid to contact a dental professional with any questions or concerns.
Your health matters to us. If you have any questions concerning this post, call us at (248) 357-3100 today. We’re always happy to hear from our awesome patients!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.