There are many ways that receding gums can make your smile look unattractive. Receding gums can reveal cementum. Cementum is like enamel, but it’s only supposed to cover the root of your tooth. It’s not as attractive as enamel–it has a dark color and a rough texture.
Receding gums can also make your teeth look longer than they should.
But one of the most noticeable effects of receding gums is the appearance of black triangles between your teeth.
What Causes Black Triangles between Teeth
Our smile is designed to use contrast to create an attractive appearance. Lips, gums, and teeth are designed to contrast with each other, but also to contrast highly with negative space. This is good when you want your smile to stand out, but it can be bad when receding gums create extra space around your teeth.
When gums recede, exposing some of the roots of your teeth, the shape of your teeth becomes visible. With narrow roots and flared crowns, the result is a triangle-shaped hole in your smile, what can be described as a black triangle. This is often one of the first signs of receding gums because the part of your gums that fills this triangular space, called the papilla, is very vulnerable to loss.
But receding gums aren’t the only cause of black triangles. Black triangles can be natural, related to crooked teeth or poorly shaped teeth that create open spaces in the smile.
Black triangles can also be related to poorly done dental work. Dental implants that don’t preserve the papillae around them can lead to black triangles. And porcelain veneers and dental crowns that aren’t properly shaped can create black triangles.
Correcting Black Triangles
The good news is that we can almost always get rid of black triangles in your smile. Invisalign can be used to straighten teeth and get rid of black triangles caused by crooked teeth.
And if you have unattractive dental restorations, we can perform a cosmetic renewal to give you more attractive veneers or crowns.