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Doctor insights on: Cavity Vs Stain

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Brown dot on tooth, stain or cavity. How can I tell?

Brown dot on tooth, stain or cavity. How can I tell?

Brown dot: If you can brush or scrape it off, it's stain. If you can't, then you can't tell. You will need to see a dentist to determine what it is. ...Read more

Dr. Andrew Berry
8 doctors shared insights

Cavity (Definition)

Basically a cavity is a hole, or defect in the tooth structure. It is created by the demineralization and breakdown of tooth structure from the acid attack of ...Read more


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If a black stain appears in my tooth is that a cavity ?

Not necessarily: It can be just a stain or early cavity. Make sure you see your dentist twice a year for prevention/ cleaning. If having pain also likely cavity. ...Read more

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I have what look like tiny black lines on the back of my front bottom teeth? Could this be stains or cavities? If cavities how would those be fixed?

I have what look like tiny black lines on the back of my front bottom teeth? Could this be stains or cavities? If cavities how would those be fixed?

Likely Calculus: Most likely hardened stained calculus (tartar) which needs to be removed by the hygienist. Possible decay, which would be removed and tooth colored fillings placed. See your Dentist to evaluate and get treated. Good Luck. ...Read more

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One dentist says my child has 1 cavity and some staining and another dentist says she has 5 cavities that the staining is tooth decay what do I do?

One dentist says my child has 1 cavity and some staining and another dentist says she has 5 cavities that the staining is tooth decay   what do I do?

1 Cavity: If you are going back to see the dentist every 6 months, i would go with the dentist that tells you you have 1 cavity. Tooth decay is gradual. Eventually the other 5 might need to be filled, but most likely they can wait for years if the dentist feels like they aren't deep enough to be filled. Just be sure to go back to the dentist every 6 months to have these softer spots checked. ...Read more

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What causes cavities?

What causes cavities?

Bacteria: Simply, bacteria in our mouths metablolize the carbohydrates that we eat (simple sugars are their favorites) and produce acid as a result of their activity. The acid dissolves the enamel, causing the decay. Eating the right foods, and brushing/flossing right afterwards, helps break the cycle. Go brush now! ...Read more

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What causes cavities?

Diet and Bacteria: Sugar and carbohydrates are used for fuel by bacteria in your mouth. A by-product they produce is acid. The acid dissolves the mineral of your tooth. They can be prevented by having a good diet, cleaning your teeth immaculately and seeing your dentist for cleanings at least twice a year. There are other important dental problems beyond cavities, so see a great dentist to have it all assessed. ...Read more

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How can one get a cavity?

How can  one get a cavity?

Diet/Hygiene: Dental cavities are caused by acid that is produced by the bacteria in our mouths. The carbohydrate in our diet (especially the liquid sugars) are metabolized by the bacteria in dental plaque into organic acids. If the plaque is allowed to remain on the tooth, the acid creates a hole in the tooth we call a cavity. Reduce dietary carbohydrate, remove plaque and use a Fluoride toothpaste. ...Read more

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Where can a cavity spread to?

Where can a cavity spread to?

Lot's of bad places: I assume you mean a dental cavity. This can cause an abscess if untreated and can spread to your sinuses and even your brain (upper jaw) or all the way down to your heart (lower jaw). Lest we forget, tutankhamun, the boy-king of egypt ("king tut") was thought to have died of a brain abscess from a cavity. Go see your dentist! ...Read more

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Why do I get so many cavities?

Cavities: You need to brush and FLOSS properly and regularly. And you need to severly decrease or eliminate sticky, sugary junk foods and soda pop from your diet. If you are not doing these things you will get cavities. Talk to your dentist or dental hygienist. ...Read more

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Does it hurt getting a cavity?

Does it hurt getting a cavity?

Not at first: A tooth has to be badly infected to hurt. At first there is no sensation at all. It does not hurt to have the tooth fixed because the dentist will first numb the tooth before fixing it. ...Read more

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Can any foods reverse cavities?

Can any foods reverse cavities?

Decay: Tooth decay involves the breakdown of the enamel matrix subsequent to contact with acid. Only the most superficial of lesions can be reversed using a variety of remineralizing pastes. Good, healthy eating habits can help prevent decay together with regular brushing and flossing. You'll need a dentist to restore a cavity since you cannot eat your way out of it. ...Read more

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Does having a cavity filled hurt?

Simple: Yes and No!: Once a cavity (carious lesion) is diagnosed, the decay will need to be removed and a restoration placed. Typically most cavities are anesthetized and no sensitivity is noted by the patient, just vibration from the handpiece. Larger restorations with infection or cracks can have sensitivity but usually manageable. Be sure to tell dentist if pain so dentist and team can manage discomfort. ...Read more

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Can getting a cavity filled hurt?

Can getting a cavity filled hurt?

NO: Discuss your concern with your dentist prior to the procedure. Most patients request or require local anesthesia to "numb" the tooth so absolutely nothing is felt for the entire procedure. You have other options as well. Ask your dentist what is right for you and the specific procedure planned. ...Read more