Black Triangle Between Upper Teeth During Braces? (photo)

My upper two front teeth used to overlap, but not anymore, thanks to braces. But I noticed that a small black triangle had formed instead & is unpleasant to the eye. Since then, I use mouthwash, a smaller toothbrush to clean my brackets & tried flossing. I heard that these black triangles could be caused by bacteria, that baking soda helps stimulate gum growth? Are the gums going to heal by themselves after my braces are taken off / if I practice good oral hygiene? I'm only 17. Other solutions?

Doctor Answers 3

Bioclear Method to fill black triangles

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

At your age, I would start with giving it time.  Your body is still in the "growth and development" stage, and may fill in the space all by itself.  If not, the Bioclear Method can really do wonders for black triangles.

Black triangle

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

When adults have teeth moved sometimes the tissue or gums are not the same length. These triangles AFTER treatment can lessen and if not sometimes a soft tissue graft would be needed. Do not over brush or poke these areas you can make them worse. Wait till finished and discuss with you Dr there are things that can be done.

Jacqueline Demko, DDS, MSD
Chesterfield Orthodontist

Black Triangles are a common occurence in your situation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

When the central incisors start off overlapped there is not a chance for a properly shaped papilla (that triangular piece of gum tissue between all your other teeth) to form.  There just isn't enough room.  As the overlapping is corrected it leaves a void where the papilla should have been because of the convex shape of the tooth surfaces.  With larger triangles, a periodonist may be able to improve it.  With smaller ones, there are two pretty easy solutions that can be done by your doctor before the braces are removed. 

  1. Do some light sanding between the two teeth, removing some of the convexity and creating a small space.  Then the teeth are movied closer together until they touch.
  2. Tip the roots of the two teeth towards each other thereby squishing the triangle.  In doing this, the edges may no longer be straight across and may need to be re-shaped to compensate for the different angles.

Talk with your orthodontist about your concern and best option.

Good luck

Doug Depew, DMD
Atlanta Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.