What Causes Black Triangles

What Causes Black Triangles?

Understanding the Causes of Black Triangles Between Teeth

Black triangles, also known as open gingival embrasures, are spaces or gaps that form between teeth near the gumline, creating a triangular-shaped void. These gaps can significantly impact one’s smile aesthetics and oral health. Understanding the various factors contributing to the formation of black triangles is essential to address and prevent their occurrence.

Causes of Black Triangles:

Gum Recession: Receding gum tissue can expose the triangular area between teeth, creating gaps that were once covered by the gums. Gum recession can be caused by factors such as aggressive brushing, periodontal disease, or genetic predisposition.

Bone Loss: Periodontal disease or bone resorption can result in the loss of bone supporting the teeth. As bone diminishes, spaces can form between teeth, contributing to the appearance of black triangles.

Tooth Shape and Position: Irregularly shaped or misaligned teeth can contribute to the development of black triangles. Certain tooth shapes or positions, especially if the contact points between teeth are not close enough, may cause gaps to be visible when the gum tissue recedes.

Previous Dental Treatments: Some dental procedures, such as orthodontic treatments or extractions, may inadvertently alter tooth position or cause changes in the shape of the teeth, potentially resulting in gaps between teeth.

Age and Genetics: As individuals age, changes in gum tissue and bone density can lead to the formation of black triangles. Additionally, genetic factors can influence the shape and size of teeth, contributing to gaps.

Effects of Black Triangles:

The presence of black triangles can lead to various consequences:

Aesthetic Concerns: Black triangles can affect smile aesthetics, causing individuals to feel self-conscious about their appearance.

Oral Health Risks: These gaps can accumulate food debris, making cleaning more challenging and increasing the risk of plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Sensitivity: Exposed roots or increased tooth surface due to the gaps might lead to increased sensitivity to temperature changes or certain foods.

Age-Specific Considerations:

For adults aged 18 to 25, black triangles might be more prevalent due to factors such as orthodontic treatment or irregular tooth shapes. Early intervention can help prevent further development of these gaps.

Adults aged 25 to 40 may notice black triangles due to various causes, including gum recession or changes in tooth position. Seeking preventive measures and early treatment is advisable.

Individuals aged 40 to 60 might experience black triangles due to age-related changes in gum tissue and bone density. Timely intervention can prevent potential oral health issues associated with these gaps.


Black triangles between teeth can arise from various factors such as gum recession, bone loss, tooth shape, or previous dental treatments. Understanding the causes allows individuals to seek appropriate preventive measures or treatment options to address these gaps and prevent potential oral health complications. Consulting with a dental professional is crucial to determine the underlying cause and develop a personalized approach to manage black triangles, restoring both smile aesthetics and oral health.