Cavity vs Stain > Many of you might observe their teeth turning pale while brushing, or small patches of brown or grey spots, what could this be? To find let’s first discuss cavity vs. stain, the difference between them, and how can both fix by a dentist. Globally both adults and kids suffer from cavities or have blemishes on their teeth. Besides following oral hygiene, still cavity forms.

Cavity vs Stain, how to find out

Not sure if you have a cavity or if instead you just have sensitive teeth? Check out this guide to learn how to tell if you have a cavity.

It is reported that 92 percent of adults and over 40 percent of kids suffer from cavities across the globe.

Despite the greater emphasis that has been put in place to develop global oral health policies, cavities are still prevalent. They are common problems that affect people of different ages and at different stages of life.

A cavity affects the protective layer of the teeth. This provides an ideal environment for bacteria and plaque to grow in your teeth.

When you eat sugary food or take sugary drinks, the bacteria turn the sugars into acid. The acid breaks down the tooth enamel affecting the tooth pulp, blood vessels, and nerves.

Affected teeth will have tiny holes, high sensitivity, and hidden crevices. Preventive and curative treatment is crucial at this point.

If left untreated, cavities can cause major infections and tooth loss. However, knowing how to detect a cavity before it gets worse helps you to avert tooth decay or treat it before it requires extraction.

You can also avoid costly tooth repair and replacement procedures.

Not sure if you have a cavity, or if instead you just have sensitive teeth? Check out this guide to learn how to tell if you have a cavity.

Do you notice discoloration on your tooth when you are brushing? Do you wonder if it is a stain or a cavity? While either is fixable, to ensure you have a smile you love, it’s good to know which one it is. That way you can get the proper dental treatment.

Cavity vs Stain, the difference

The brown, black, or grey spot on the teeth is a sign of a cavity, while the discolouration of teeth is a stain. A stain is a result of drinks and food and is not sticky. However, the cavity damages the teeth. It provides an ideal environment for bacteria and plaque to grow in the teeth, destroying them. In a few cases, teeth start having small holes, become sensitive, and form hidden crevices. So before it worsens, visit the dentist.

Causes of Stains

Stains on teeth are due to many causes such as tooth decay, tartar, and fluorosis. When you eat more sugary food, it decays the teeth. The plaque builds up and damages the teeth underneath. When the plaque hardens, it forms tartar, which is not easy to remove. Even brushing cannot remove the tartar. Fluorosis is when due to excessive fluoride intake, stains start showing on the teeth, so visit the dentist.

What Causes Stains on Your Teeth?

The first thing is to understand what causes stains on your teeth. This will give you an initial idea of whether you have a stain or a cavity. Below are three direct relations to food stains:

  1. Tooth decay– One of the main sources of stains on your teeth is decay. Consuming sugary and starchy foods is a direct cause of decay. If you have noticed a light or dark discolouration then it is important to avoid those foods and drinks. They will cause the plaque on your teeth to build up and damage the tooth underneath. To see if this is the cause of your stains, avoid consuming these, and brush immediately after if you do.
  2. Tartar– Dental experts say that tartar forms when the plaque build up on your teeth becomes hard. Even diligent brushing with toothpaste will not remove the plaque once it is there.
  3. Fluorosis– Discolouration of teeth occurs due to an extensive intake of fluoride. These stains show up on your teeth as white streaks in mild cases. In more serious cases, they form brown or black lines. To get more information on fixing fluorosis, please contact Innovative Smiles today.
Tooth Stain

Tooth Stain

Black spots on teeth

If you see a black spot on one of your teeth, don’t panic and assume you have a cavity.

The chewing surface anatomy of molar teeth includes deep pits and fissures (grooves) that are easily stained if you regularly drink coffee, tea, or eat certain foods.

Stained areas are at higher risk for decay. Why? Because the pits and grooves can easily trap food particles and sugars from beverages, and they’re difficult to clean even with an electric toothbrush

Black spots on teeth

Black spots on teeth

What are the Symptoms of a Cavity?

Besides stains, a developing cavity is not a good sign. In case you experience tooth pain, visible holes, or sensitivity while eating or drinking, talk to a dentist. A cavity in your teeth makes you feel uncomfortable, and gradually the discolouration becomes visible. Thus, if you want to know more about cavity vs stain

Let’s take a look at the common symptoms of cavities. This will be helpful in making the initial distinction of which one you are experiencing. Here are three common symptoms of a cavity:

  1. Tooth pain– Have you been experiencing aching or pain around a certain area of your mouth? If so, it may be a cavity. It is very important that you see your dentist for an examination. You don’t want the cavity to develop to the point where you need a root canal.
  2. Sensitivity– Do you have a lot of sensitivity around a certain tooth or section of your mouth? This is a very common symptom associated with a cavity. Are you having discomfort or pain when eating or drinking? Especially if it is hot or cold? This is a tell-tale sign of a cavity.
  3. Visible holes– Do you have visible holes or pits in your teeth? This is one of the most obvious and visible symptoms of a cavity. Have you examined the area you are experiencing pain in? Have you seen discolouration and notice a small hole in your tooth? If you have, then you most likely have a cavity.
Tooth Cavity

Tooth Cavity

What is a cavity?

When food and bacteria build up in your teeth, it can form plaque. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that have the ability to erode the enamel on the surface of your teeth.

Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can help get rid of the sticky plaque. If the plaque is allowed to build up, it can continue to eat away at your teeth and create cavities.

A cavity forms a hole in your tooth. If left untreated, a cavity can eventually destroy your tooth. An untreated cavity can also create more serious complications, like a tooth abscess or an infection that gets into your bloodstream, which can be life-threatening.

Areas in your mouth that may be at a higher risk of developing plaque include:

  • chewing surfaces of your molars where bits of food can collect in the grooves and crevices
  • between your teeth
  • the bottom of your teeth near your gums

Frequently eating foods that tend to cling to your teeth may also increase your risk of a cavity. Some examples of these foods include:

  • dried fruit
  • ice cream
  • hard candy
  • soda
  • fruit juice
  • chips
  • sugary foods like cake, cookies, and gummy candy

Although cavities are more common among children, adults are still at risk — especially as gums begin to recede away from the teeth, which exposes the roots to plaque.

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What does a cavity feel like?

You might be surprised to learn that a cavity is often times asymptomatic until the cavity grows in size and enters the middle layer of the tooth called the dentin.

The dentin layer of the tooth contains nerve endings that when activated (for example: chewing something sweet) will result in a symptom that a person can feel. Symptoms may include chewing and/or temperature sensitivity, or even a twinge when eating something sweet.

Potential signs/symptoms that you may have tooth decay include:

  • Temperature-sensitive to hot/cold
  • Chewing sensitivity
  • Spontaneous pain without a known reason
  • Bad breath
  • Visible hole in the tooth
  • Broken/chipped tooth
  • Brown, black, or white staining

When to see a dentist – Cavity vs Stain

If you have a concern about a possible cavity, it’s time to make an appointment to see your dentist.

If you feel temperature or sweet sensitivity that lingers, make an appointment with your dental wellness provider to evaluate the area, especially if the issue lasts more than 24 to 48 hours.

A toothache that won’t go away or staining on your teeth is also a reason to see your dentist.

Additionally, seeing the dentist routinely every 6 months and getting X-rays regularly is one of the best ways to prevent cavities or to stop existing cavities from growing into bigger problems, such as root canals and fractures where the tooth can’t be repaired.

What are some home remedies to prevent cavities?

The best home remedies to prevent cavities include:

  • Avoiding processed food and drinks containing sugar.
  • Brushing two times daily and flossing every evening.
  • Having your teeth professionally cleaned and examined every six months.
  • Drinking plenty of water throughout each day to stay hydrated and prevents from having a dry mouth.
  • Using an anti-cavity rinse daily to help strengthen the outer surfaces of teeth from demineralization.

Cavity vs Stain Questions and Answers

Can stains look like cavities?

It is easy to spot a tooth cavity that has been left untreated over a long haul. Often, it will look like a stain or a dark spot on an infected tooth. A discoloured tooth could also mean a tooth cavity.

Is a brown spot on a tooth a cavity?

A cavity is the hole that develops as this protective layer of your tooth breaks down. You might notice it as a dark spot on the tooth. But your dentist can take a closer look to see if the spot is actually a cavity. Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of dark spots on teeth.

How many cavities is normal?

Adults 20 to 64 have an average of 3.28 decayed or missing permanent teeth and 13.65 decayed and missing permanent surfaces.

Can you brush away a cavity?

Fact: Once a Cavity Starts, There’s No Turning Back

But once bacteria and decay get through that enamel, the damage is done. “Once that bacteria gets so far into the tooth that you can’t brush it away, it’s not going to get better, Harms says. “Cavities don’t go away once they start. You have to fix them.”

How long can you leave a cavity untreated?

About 26 percent of individuals between the ages of 20 and 64 will have at least one unfilled cavity. Many Americans question how long they can leave a cavity untreated. However, an unfilled cavity shouldn’t be left untreated for very long due to the risk for infections, abscesses, and increased tooth decay pain.

Can brown stains on teeth be removed?

Outlook. Brown spots on the teeth are often the result of poor oral hygiene, smoking, or consuming many dark foods and drinks. Spots on the outside of the tooth can often be removed and are easy to prevent.

Brown Stain on Teeth

How to Use Temporary Filling in Your Teeth

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Do all cavities need to be filled?

Is a dental filling always required to treat a cavity? In short, the answer is no. Dental fillings are used to treat cavities because a dentist tends to want to remove the decayed part (the cavity) and fill it to stop any further damage from occurring.

Can you reverse a cavity naturally?

Studies in the British Medical Journal suggest that a change in diet can actually reverse tooth decay. Easy adjustments can be made to your diet immediately like: Consuming more calcium-rich foods (i.e. kale, collards, broccoli rabe, and dairy) which can help strengthen your bones and teeth.

How do you treat a deep cavity?

If they are found early, pit and fissure cavities can be treated with sealants or some types of fluoride. Once the cavity becomes deeper, however, a dentist will need to remove decay and repair the tooth with fillings or possibly root canals and crowns.

Deep Cavity

How many cavities can you fill at once?

How many fillings can be done at once? There really isn’t a limit to the number of fillings your dentist can give you at one time. In fact, if you have a few cavities located in the same area (the upper right of your mouth, for example), your dentist can give you a few tooth fillings all at once.

Cavity vs Stain Questions and Answers