Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Why Are Dark Triangles Appearing Between Your Teeth?

Joe Lawrence

Unless it was caused by a traumatic accident resulting in injury, any changes to the physical appearance of your teeth occur slowly, over the course of months (if not years). But one day you will look in the mirror, notice deterioration or discoloration, realize that something troublesome is brewing, and will schedule an appointment with your dentist. The same applies to your gums, even though these changes can be even harder to spot. What does the formation of dark triangles between your teeth mean?

Gingival Embrasures

The spaces between your teeth are called gingival embrasures. The gingival tissues that occupy these spaces are known as interdental gums. The development of dark triangles in your gingival embrasure can indicate a problem, with the darkness actually being the newly-visible space behind your teeth, only visible due to changes to your interdental gums. What sort of problem might your gums be experiencing?

Gum Recession

Gum recession is when your gums literally withdraw from around the bases of your teeth, pulling away from the roots of your teeth as they recede. This recession can lead to the development of dark triangles in your gingival embrasures. Mild gum recession is part of the aging process, but this can be accelerated by periodontal (gum) disease, including gingivitis resulting from inadequate oral hygiene. Smoking can play a role as well. Gum recession can also be self-inflicted, caused by brushing and flossing too hard. The gradual development of these dark triangles should be assessed by your dentist.

What Your Dentist Can Do

Untreated gum recession may eventually require gum grafting (the manual grafting of gum tissue onto the deficient site), but this can be avoided with early treatment. Minor gum abnormalities resulting from excessively forceful oral hygiene can be eliminated by changing your brushing and flossing habits as directed by your dentist, with your gingival tissues returning to normal. Gingival tissue can also be regenerated with cell proliferation initiated by injections of hyaluronic acid. Your dentist may also approach the problem from your teeth, progressively adding layers of tooth-colored composite resin to the bases of teeth adjacent to your gingival embrasures, bulking up your teeth to offset the appearance of these dark triangles. Dental veneers bonded to the teeth in question can achieve the same results.

Gum recession indicated by the appearance of dark triangles between your teeth must be investigated. The problem will only worsen, and it won't only be your gums that are ultimately affected.


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Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an elderly parent tends to be tough enough without the added stress of dealing with dental implants or dentures. But, the prospect is not the end of the world—there are many things you can do to ensure that your parent's dental health is not compromised without having to spend a lot of personal time doing the care yourself. Between working with the right dentist, hiring a service provider for part time work, and giving your parent the tools he or she needs to care for his or her own dental health at home, you'll find that dental health for your loved one isn't so tough or time consuming after all. Hopefully you are able to get the support and information you need right here.