Why Do I Have Stained Teeth?

July 15, 2022

A cavity vs stain, how can you spot what is there on your teeth? Usually, it is confusing for people to distinguish between a cavity or a stain on the teeth. This is mainly due to their similar appearance.

Comparing the two, a cavity is much more severe and can lead to far-reaching consequences such as tooth decay.

In a nutshell, the cavity you see is more like a spot on your teeth; on the other hand, stain is more of a significant patchwork or discoloration that appears prominently on the tooth surface. Let’s take a closer look at the identification markers and more.

How To Identify Cavity vs Stain?

Although their look may seem similar, you can use marked differences for identification.

A cavity occurs when the tooth’s enamel starts to break down and form a hole in it. Most of the time, they are caused by bacteria that produce acid from sugars in the mouth.

A cavity can lead to serious health issues like tooth decay and become cavities, infections, or even abscesses. Once the enamel is damaged, you cannot restore it without help. Therefore a cavity vs stain is permanent, and a reversal is not possible.

On the other hand, a stain is just a patch on your teeth. It is usually harmless and will go away after brushing it off with water or chewing gum. The only thing that is in question or at risk is the appearance.

But why do teeth undergo such change? Well, it is because of the food or drinks you consume every day. Some edibles contain pigments that leave a mark and stain the tooth.

The main issue with cavities is that they will turn into an oral health risk, while there is no such issue with stains.

Signs That Indicate You Have Teeth Stain

You can often assess teeth’ health by observing their color change. If the teeth are stained by some food or drink, they will have a darker brown hue.

You may think that a cavity vs tooth stain is the same since they start off as black spots on teeth. The difference lies in their progress.
Some examples of discoloration on teeth are:

  • Red
  • Brown
  • Yellow

Cavity vs Stain – Signs

Here’s how you can spot a cavity; cavity vs stain looks like a black dot on your teeth – single point and does not take up much room.

  • A cavity is a hole in the tooth that can be caused by tooth decay.
  • The cavity can be restored by dental filling to restore its strength.
  • A cavity will mostly cause sensitivity in the tooth and dental pain.
  • A dentist will fill the tooth with a substance that hardens and fills up the space where it was missing.
  • Severe toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Painful eating or drinking
  • Visible pits


Don’t get skeptical if you see black or brown spots on your tooth just yet. Read this blog to distinguish between cavities vs stains, for an appropriate approach. We would suggest you to get in touch with the dentist from Cinco Ranch Family Dentistry at 281 407 5442 for help.


Skip to content