Interproximal Reduction for Dark Triangles
Crowded teeth sometimes show an area where there is a lack of gum and it appears that there is a black triangle instead of pink gum or white tooth. When this occurs, it does not look good and can make it look that the teeth have been neglected even though you may have a good dental routine. In some cases, it will appear that there is a hole between the teeth, but it is really the gap between gums and teeth. The good news is that it is possible to deal with them and they can be reduced at least, and often removed altogether.
The incisors appear to be like triangles; and when perfect, there will be plenty of gum tissue so there are no gaps showing. The issue arises when there is a lack of gum to fill in the gap. Gum recession is a major cause of this and the other main causes tend to be teeth grinding, gum disease and general aging. Regular dental check-ups should pick up any problems as they are starting. Flossing after brushing is also going to help prevent the problem.
If you have left it too late and the dark triangles are already there, you need to see a periodontist – gum specialist. They will be able to give you a gum graft and hopefully this will be enough to stop any further gum loss. If this does not work, it is possible to use a braces then a retainer to put the teeth in a position where the dark triangles do not show. Clear braces will make it less embarrassing. The process is very fast. This is a different process altogether and as you would imagine takes more intervention from the orthodontist but give close to perfection results.
The first thing the orthodontist will do is to flatten the contacts set between teeth. In order to do this, they will carry out IPR – Interproximal Reduction. There is a lot of cleaning involved, and it is the area between the teeth that are cleaned with polishing discs. A minute amount of enamel is removed but not so much as to damage the protective shell. Once this has been done, it makes it easier for the teeth to move and get closer to each other. This way the tooth takes up the space that had in the past appeared as a dark triangle.
Other than treating mild gum recession, IPR is also needed when getting rid of the following dental issues:
- Crowding – This is when there is more teeth mass than the jaw can support.
- Proclined incisors – These are sticking out incisor teeth and through IPR, they are narrowed and pulled back into a normal alignment.
- Overjet – This is when the lower front teeth are some distance behind the upper front teeth because the latter are protruded. Sometimes the width of upper teeth is reduced through stripping (narrowing) as this can help the orthodontist pull them back into a more attractive alignment.
- Discrepancies in tooth size – The right and left rows of teeth should correspond to each other in terms of size. But sometimes there are width discrepancies that can best be corrected via shaving or stripping.