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How to get rid of a black triangle between teeth after braces.

I’ve had braces in the past, but a tooth shifted out of place, so my current orthodontist ground down part of my tooth by about 2 millimeters to fit the spring retainer he made. The problem is that shaving my tooth like that has left this weird black triangle between my teeth where the gums don’t fill in.

Is it possible to make the gums grow to fill in this space? I hate the way it looks!

Thanks for any advice you can share!

Gina from New Jersey

A photograph of teeth that have black triangles of empty space between them near the gum line.
One or more black triangles after orthodontic treatment can make you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your smile.

Hello, Gina

We can’t give you any definitive advice based on our limited understanding of your situation, however, we can share some basic information.

For starters, your orthodontist may have a plan to correct that gap. Your treatment is not yet complete, so you can continue working with him to find out what kind of results he hopes to achieve with the spring retainer or other orthodontic appliances.

Second, your gums are not likely to grow in enough to fill the empty space. Your gum line will follow the natural contours and spacing of your teeth because gum tissue doesn’t grow over nothing; it needs a foundation. Even if you were to surgically alter your gum tissue with a graft to fill in the gap, the tissue would shrink back to its normal contours over time.

Finally, closing up a black triangle like yours can be quite challenging, depending on the shape of your teeth. Sometimes teeth are left with these gaps even when they are perfectly straight and even when they touch evenly on the sides. So once your orthodontic treatment is complete, we recommend that you see an excellent cosmetic dentist who can apply just the right amount of natural-looking dental bonding to change the shape of your teeth and close the gap.

This post has been published on behalf of Dr. Heng Lim, an Owasso dentist who takes a comprehensive treatment approach to orthodontics.