Cavity vs. Stain: Everything You Should Know

woman looks at x-rays with the dentist to identify cavities or stains on teeth

At first glance, it’s hard to know if a dark spot is a cavity or a stain. By understanding their differences, you can take appropriate action and seek the right treatment! Here’s everything you should know:

What Are Cavities?

Cavities form when bacteria feed on the carbs you eat. The bacteria produce acid and chew holes in your tooth enamel. When untreated, cavities cause severe tooth decay that can lead to tooth loss. You’ll experience symptoms like increased sensitivity and tooth pain. What do cavities look like? They usually appear as gray, brown, or black spots.

What Are Tooth Stains?

Things like coffee and red wine, excessive fluoride, and tartar cause staining. The discoloration varies. Stains can be brown, yellow, orange, and even white! Drinking certain beverages through a straw, not smoking, and good oral hygiene prevent some staining, but tooth stains are a part of life. How can you tell the difference between a stain and a cavity? Tooth stains don’t cause any annoying or painful symptoms.

How Are Cavities & Stains Treated?

You can avoid cavities by maintaining great oral hygiene at home and coming in for regular cleanings with Dr. Giovannini. If you do experience decay, there’s treatment. Fillings are common for small cavities while dental crowns can treat more severe decay. To remove stains and whiten your smile, we offer professional teeth whitening. With the KöR deep bleaching system, you can get up to 16 shades lighter! We offer one-visit whitening and take-home trays.

Address Cavities & Tooth Stains at Michael Giovannini DDS, Inc in Palmdale, CA

Cavities and tooth stains often look similar, but they are different issues that require different treatments. You don’t want to delay a cavity treatment because you think it’s a stain. Be aware of symptoms like sensitivity and tooth pain. Regular appointments at our office ensure you don’t mistake one issue for the other. Please contact us today if you have questions or want to schedule a visit!

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