If you notice a black or dark spot on your tooth, you should never ignore it. Whether it is big or small, a black spot may be caused by tooth decay. Having it drilled and filled by your dentist is the best way to prevent the decay from becoming worse.
Why are cavities dark in color?
Cavities are spots where the material that comprises your tooth has become decayed. This decay is caused by oral bacteria, which feed on sugar and release an acidic substance that breaks down the minerals that comprise your tooth. As these bacteria break down the structure of your tooth, the material that is left behind is black. When your dentist drills out a cavity, he or she is essentially removing this decayed, black tooth material, which contains bacteria and the broken down minerals from your teeth.
Are all dark spots cavities?
In some cases, severe stains on the surface of the teeth may mimic the appearance of cavities. However, only your dentist can tell the difference between a cavity and a dark stain, so it's important to always visit your dentist if you notice a dark spot on your tooth. Dark stains such as these are more common in people who smoke and drink a lot of dark-colored cola or coffee.
If you can't see any dark spots on your teeth, does that mean you don't have any cavities?
Some patients assume that if they don't see any dark spots on their teeth, then they are cavity-free and there is no reason to see a dentist for a checkup. This is a mistake. Cavities don't usually start off looking dark in color – by the time they're visible, they've generally become pretty large. Your dentist can identify cavities before they're visible to the naked eye, so you can have them filled when they're less likely to compromise your tooth's overall health. Also, you can develop cavities between your teeth. These can't be seen with the naked eye and can only be detected in dental x-rays. Since these cavities between the teeth are closer to the root than those that form on the chewing surface, they can cause problems such as abscesses if not filled promptly.
When you're brushing your teeth, it never hurts to take a quick look around your mouth. If you see any dark spots, make a dentist appointment at a clinic like Adobe Dentistry. There's a chance it's just a stain, but you're always better safe than sorry when it comes to your health – dental health included.
I grew up in a home with parents who did not insist on good dental hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know better, some damage had already been done. I had many cavities, crooked teeth, and some discoloration on my teeth. I knew it would not be easy to take my smile from where it was to where it is today, but I was determined to finally have nice teeth. I visited a dentist who was very nice and never judged me. We made a dental plan together. Spreading the procedures out over time made it much easier to afford them. I now have almost perfect teeth after all that hard work! I created this blog to help others who have dental problems that stem from bad childhood habits know there is hope! It is never too late to start seeing the dentist!