Treating Black Triangles between Teeth

Take a look at any magazine photo or advertisement: uniform, straight teeth in cosmetically beautiful smiles usually don’t have discernible gaps. So if you have tiny black triangles between two or more of your teeth, you may feel self-conscious about their appearance, or maybe have wondered how they got there. Unfortunately, black triangles can indicate that gum tissue is not as healthy and strong as it should be. Often, additional treatment is needed before cosmetic alterations can be made to remove these spaces between your teeth. However, the good news is that once your gums are healthy and have been treated by a general dentist or periodontist, cosmetic treatment for these tiny black triangles is relatively simple and straightforward. You can say goodbye to the black spaces in your smile through one of three treatment options from Dr. James Fondriest.

Dr. James Fondriest helps not only patients like you, but other top dentists in the Midwest craft beautiful smiles. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile because of black triangles, or other cosmetic issues, don’t let it affect your confidence levels or overall happiness. We can help you achieve a more beautiful smile. Contact us today at 847-234-0517.

Black triangles between teeth

When gum tissue is lost between teeth, a black triangle forms. These distracting triangles between teeth can be closed with porcelain veneers and / or crowns.

What Causes Black Spaces between the Teeth?

In simple terms, black triangles appear because of receding gums, gingivitis, and gum disease. From a distance, those spaces look like leftover food particles, yet upon professional inspection those black spots can indicate a bigger dental problem.

Gum disease has two distinct stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Periodontal disease is sometimes referred to as gum disease because its earliest stage is gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation and mild infection of the gums that many people experience at one point or another. It can usually be treated with diligent brushing, antiseptic mouthwash, and thorough flossing at home. However, if gingivitis is not reversed, periodontitis, a more serious infection, can occur. To eradicate this deeper infection, your general dentist or periodontist can use a procedure called scaling and root planing. During this procedure, special scalpels or minimally-invasive soft tissue lasers are used to remove plaque and tartar buildup underneath the gum line around the teeth roots.

Periodontitis causes gum loss

Periodontal disease is serious and has also been linked to more than just your oral health. In fact, the bacteria present in this disease can flow into your bloodstream, which is suspected to increase the likelihood of developing heart disease, heart failure, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. Unfortunately, the damage that gum disease can cause to your body doesn’t end with better brushing habits. After all, periodontal disease isn’t just a lack of oral hygiene. Many pregnant women experience gestational gum disease due to the increased changes in hormones.

Certain medications can also lower your immune system, making your body even more susceptible to illnesses like gingivitis and gum disease. Dental treatments can resolve the disease, yet repairing the lingering damage presents a different matter altogether.

In addition, gum recession could be caused by aggressive brushing techniques. If this is the case, using a soft-bristled tooth brush and employing proper brushing technique can help protect your gum tissues and prevent further recession.

Options for Fixing Black Triangles between Teeth

Though treating black triangles is relatively simple, your gums need specialized care before the dentist can start fixing the dark spaces. Once any present disease and infection has been cleared by your general dentist or periodontist, Dr. Fondriest can use the following procedures to improve the appearance of tiny black triangles near the gum line:

Dental bonding:

Also referred to as composite bonding, dental bonding repairs the structure and appearance of teeth, using the same resin-like composite material that is often used to fill cavities. This commonly performed procedure offers cosmetic solutions that can last anywhere from five to 10 years with proper care and maintenance. Dr. Fondriest will perform a shade analysis on your teeth to perfectly match the dental bonding to your natural tooth color, for a seamless appearance.


Crafted from very thin pieces of medical-grade ceramic, veneers act as a type of cover for your front teeth visible in your smile. They can camouflage a host of cosmetic issues in otherwise healthy, functional teeth. Veneers are one of the best ways to improve the cosmetic appearance of teeth in a relatively short amount of time. It often takes just a couple appointments to receive dental veneers and camouflage a host of esthetic issues, including black triangles. However, due to their custom fabrication and design, dental veneers are pricier than other cosmetic treatments. Dental veneers last on average 15 to 20 years before needing replacement. Most clients who choose them feel that veneers are worth it.

Dental crowns:

Dental crowns are restorations used to protect a weakened or injured tooth, or correct serious esthetic flaws, when fillings or dental bonding will not suffice. The dental crown is usually made of porcelain, and covers the entire visible area of a tooth above the gum line. This porcelain “cap” acts as a cover over the vulnerable or unaesthetic natural tooth.

It’s important to note that for each triangular space, two teeth need treatment. Essentially the part of your teeth closest to the gum line is repaired to close the visible gaps. The result not only brings a more pleasing smile, but usually a healthier and stronger smile, too!

Learn more about the treatment options for black triangles

Black triangles between your teeth and along your gum line doesn’t just look unappealing — they indicate greater issues that require dental attention. To stop the progression of these triangles, visit your local Lake Forest general dentist. To schedule an appointment to repair your triangle-free smile, call us at (847) 234-0517. Also, visit our website for services, testimonials, and before-and-after gallery. Dr. Fondriest and his staff welcome patients from Chicago and surrounding cities.