Cavity Vs Stain – Decipher The Black Spot On Tooth

Your oral cavity is constantly in contact with many things, such as food items or more, that may leave certain marks on the teeth. Most of the time, they are washable and come right off after brushing. However, if the black or brown spot on your tooth does not go away with brushing, it is a sign of deviation from adequate oral health.

A small or large black spot on the tooth could be either a cavity or stain; therefore, the treatment plan depends on the root cause of the problem.

Cavity vs. Stain- What Do Cavities Look Like?

A cavity and stain, both start off as a black spot on the tooth. Therefore, their appearance can be deceiving. The main difference lies in the latter stages of both conditions.

Discoloration or black teeth stains are primarily because of the pigments from the food we eat. Stains are left on the outer tooth layer (the enamel) only. The black spots on teeth only stay on the superficial layer and do not enter deeper ones to cause any sort of discomfort. Usually, the items which cause this issue are beverages such as tea, wine, coffee, or fruits like berries.

On the contrary, cavities are different. They start with a tiny black dot or spot on the tooth surface and penetrate deeper layers. Extreme sensitivity to elevated temperatures and sharp stabbing pain indicates the presence of that mark is actually a cavity on the tooth.

However, a cavity may not always look like spots or dots on the tooth; they may sometimes show up like black lines on teeth as well.

Reasons Why a Black Spot May Emerge on Your Tooth

  • Plaque, if not removed on time, can harden to form tartar, basically the calcified version. They start off as white or yellow but may turn brown and gradually black. If you spot a black tarter near your gum line, its immediate removal is necessary.
  • If you leave the plaque as it is, the decayed area will go dark and die, resulting in discoloration.
  • You may avert cavities but cannot stop teeth from staining or having black or brown marks on them forever. Staining is another aging symptom because the enamel wears down with time.
  • Sometimes diseases such as celiac disease may also contribute to this issue. This condition prevents adequate enamel development leading to translucent enamel
  • with white or yellow spots on the entire tooth surface.
  • Excess fluoride is the reason why teeth undergo the condition of fluorosis.

Final Words

Multiple cosmetic dentistry options are available to fix cavities or stains on your teeth. Make sure your dentist checks the black spot on the tooth before starting any treatment. Options such as a filling, crown placement or replacement, and root canal for cavities are available.

On the other hand, teeth whitening procedures such as bleaching and polishing befit discoloration or staining issues. Connect with the dentists from Nimmi Shine Dental for a proper diagnosis and treatment of your oral troubles. Book the best dentist, call (858) 999-8550.

Dr. Joseph Mara

Dr. Joseph Mara

For more than 19 years, Dr. Joseph Mara has been a leading dentist in San Diego, providing affordable, gentle, and honest dental care. Driven by a commitment to patient’s trust and satisfaction, he undergoes continuous education and specialized training in oral implantology and endodontics. At his practice – Nimmi Shine Dental, convenience and comfort are paramount. Utilizing advanced technology such as the Vatech PaX-i3D Scanner and Computer Guided Implant Surgery, the clinic emphasizes efficiency and overall patient well-being. Call us today at (858) 999-8550 to schedule a consultation with our expert dentist.


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