Do discolored spots on my teeth increase the risk of cavities?

Not all spots are created equal

If the spot indicates a weakness in the enamel (outer layer), then yes, you are at increased risk.

If the spot is hard, hasn't changed size, and your dentist determines it is not a cavity, then that spot may not increase your risk of getting a cavity.

Sometimes discolored marks on the teeth may indicate a cavity. The dentist may use a sharp tipped instrument to examine the discolored mark and see if it is decay. The decayed part will be soft. The dentist may coat your tooth with a special dye that detects cavities. Once the dye is applied, it will stick to the cavity but rinse off the healthy part. X-rays are usually used to detect cavities. But x-rays are limited in how much they can reveal, especially if it is a small cavity. A special wand may be used that measures changes caused by tooth decay. This laser tool is especially useful on pitted teeth.


Continue Learning about Healthy Teeth & Mouth

Are white teeth healthy?
Peggy RosenPeggy Rosen
When you have a white teeth, you normally will have no accumulation of plaque, no apparent cavity so...
More Answers
What's a good alternative to mouthwashes that contain alcohol?
Carol JahnCarol Jahn
A great alternative to mouth wash would be to use a device called the Water Flosser. It is has been ...
More Answers
What Your Tongue Says About Your Oral Health
What Your Tongue Says About Your Oral Health
How Can a Healthy Smile Affect My Self Confidence?
How Can a Healthy Smile Affect My Self Confidence?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.