There are many differences between cavities and stains, but the most important distinction is that cavities are permanent damage to your teeth while stains can usually be removed. Both of these can be serious problems that require treatment; however, they are not the same thing. Here, we will take a look at the differences between a cavity vs stain so that you can better understand each one.

What Are Cavities?

A cavity is a hole in the tooth which is caused by bacteria that eats away the enamel. This can lead to serious damage and pain; if left untreated, cavities vs a stain can even lead to tooth loss. A cavity in between teeth is most commonly treated with fillings, which greatly helps to restore the tooth and prevent further damage from happening.

Stain Vs Cavity

A tooth stain vs cavity on the other hand, is usually not caused by bacteria. Rather, a stain is typically a result of food, drinks, or tobacco products that have left their mark on your teeth.

While stains are not as serious as cavities, they can still be unsightly and difficult to remove. Professional teeth whitening is usually the best way to deal with stains.

Cavity vs Stain – Identification

A stain vs cavity does pose much of a threat. Whereas cavities, they may lead to troubles. So, how can you spot cavities? Let’s have a look at some of the differentiation markers.

  1. Look at the color of your teeth. A cavity is usually darker like a black spot on teeth compared to the surrounding surface of the tooth; whereas stains are usually lighter.
  2. What does a cavity feel like with your tongue? It usually feels rough or uneven, pit like on the tooth surface. On the other hand, stains generally feel smooth.
  3. Do not miss your dental appointment. If you’re not sure whether you have a cavity or a stain, your best bet is to visit your dentist. They will be able to take a closer look and give you a professional diagnosis.
  4. Try home-based remedies to help with cavities or stains, such as brushing your teeth with baking soda or using a whitening toothpaste. However, it’s always best to consult with your dentist before trying any at-home remedies.

Are Cavities Always Black in Color?

It is a common concept that a cavity always looks like a black spot on tooth. But in fact, cavities come in multiple shades, ranging from black, brown to even yellow or grey.


Knowing the difference between a cavity vs stain can help you take the necessary steps to treat them accordingly. If you think you may have a problem with either one, visit us at Pearl Shine Dental and let our professionals take a look at your teeth.