Cavity vs. Stain: Difference, Treatments, Aspects and Signs

A The importance of good oral hygiene cannot be overstated. However, even when you care for your dental health, you may be able to spot some discoloration. It can be challenging to distinguish cavity vs. stain because cavities can result in dark and light spots. 

There are a few subtle differences that can help differentiate between the two. Keep on reading this article to know the difference in treatment and symptoms.

Cavity Vs. Stain: What’s The Difference?

Since both result in an alteration in the shade of your teeth, it is easy to mix up the two. But there are certain ways to differentiate between both.

The first thing to consider is that you may want to think about how large you think the “stain” appears. If your entire tooth (or several teeth) appears discolored, there’s a good chance it will be a stain. If you notice tiny spots of discoloration in your tooth, It’s most likely to be a dental cavity.

Furthermore, the appearance of cavities is dark black or brown. However, the majority of dental stains are lighter in the shade. Then, a dark spot is only one indication of a cavity. Since a cavity is damaged to your tooth, you’ll suffer from a myriad of other issues that go along with it. 

It can cause increased sensitivity to hot or cold beverages and foods and tooth pain that may cause pain that can extend into your jaw, as well as the appearance of a gap in your tooth.

Aspects And Signs

Most often, Cavities are characterized by symptoms that don’t occur when there is a stain on the tooth. Take a look at these distinctive symptoms of the cavity.

  • Sensitivity – With tooth decay, it is possible to feel sensitivity to the tooth (to cold or hot food and drinks) in the area of your tooth affected.
  • If you suffer from toothache and decay, you can suffer from mild to extreme discomfort and pain, but this isn’t the case with stains. 
  • Pain – occurs when cavities result in inflammation of the pulp (nerve located in the middle of the tooth). Additionally, pain may be felt in the cheek, jaw, or even the ear.
  • Teeth with holes – Cavities are usually accompanied by visible holes and spots in the teeth affected. The gap may begin tiny and grow more extensive and deeper when the cavity remains untreated.


Treatments for cavity are radically different. Stains are easily treated at home or through an aesthetic dentist. Cavities need the advice and advice of an experienced dentist to determine the appropriate method of treatment specific to your needs.


In the beginning, the stains on your teeth may disappear when you brush your teeth or alter your diet.  If this isn’t the case, getting rid of stains on your teeth may be performed at your home or the dentist’s office.

The outside of the teeth, also known as extrinsic discoloration, can be the most straightforward to get rid of since they’re not absorbed inside the tooth until. Simple at-home whitening toothpaste or strips can eliminate these staining’s on the surface over time. Be careful not to overdo this, as these methods could be abrasive and harm the tooth’s enamel. It can lead to more problems.

To ensure your teeth are safe, opt for a DIY dental whitening product from your doctor. For the intrinsic stains, which are under that surface, or worn-off dentin, the enamel that has yellowed, You will require the guidance of a dental professional regarding your treatment options. 

These dental stains are difficult to remove and require expert cosmetic dental procedures like professional teeth bleaching for many years or other treatments suited to your specific requirements.


If you notice the presence of a cavity, arrange appointments with your dentist as quickly as possible. The consequences of cavities are irreparable. If not treated, they can grow bigger and deeper quickly. If caught early, treating cavities is easier and less disruptive.

Cavities can cause damage to the teeth’s layers and can cause nerve damage. Over time, dental cavities can increase tooth sensitivity, intense discomfort and gum disease, infection, teeth fracturing, and tooth loss.

Your dentist may suggest an option for the therapeutic treatment depending on the dimension and depth of the tooth:

  • Fillings for teeth represent the most commonly used dental procedure in cases where the tooth’s structure remains healthy.  After removing the decayed tooth, the dentist fills the remaining gap with an appropriate filling, such as porcelain, resin, or gold, to restore the function and appearance of your tooth.
  • Crowns restore the function and appearance of teeth damaged by cavities or one. They are typically made from ceramic. Dental crowns are made to look similar to your existing teeth and then placed on top of the tooth that has been damaged.
  • Root canal procedures may be necessary when your tooth cavity causes damage to the nerve of your tooth or has developed into a severe infection. You may receive a crown or an alternative tooth filling based on the injury’s severity after the root canal procedure is completed.

The Takeaway

Cavity vs. stain might look the same. However, they’re not identical. Although cavities can result in tooth stains, the discoloration can be caused by lifestyle and food choices. Making minor adjustments helps reduce discoloration, as in preventing the formation of cavities.

This includes:

  • Brushing more frequently
  • Rinsing your mouth by rinsing your mouth with water
  • Limiting certain drinks and foods

However, you should consult your dentist for help when you’ve got a tooth. You could require dental work to treat the issue if you develop an infection.

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