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What Is the Difference Between Tooth Stain and Tooth Decay?


Posted on 1/2/2024 by Weo Admin
Black woman smiling in mirror after getting her teeth cleaned at Water's Edge Dental in Boise, IDCavities and stained teeth may seem alike, making it hard to tell their difference. Cavities are not reversible, but teeth stains can be undone. Here are ways you can differentiate between tooth decay and tooth stain.

What Is Tooth Decay?


Cavities, or tooth decay, are colored spots and tiny holes that form on or between the teeth. They happen when bacteria in the mouth make acid that wears away the protective layer on the teeth, known as enamel. Cavities usually appear on your back chewing teeth, between teeth, or close to your gums. They begin as minor marks and worsen if you do not treat them. Cavities can reach the deeper parts of your teeth, causing lasting damage. Anyone can get cavities, even kids. Cavities are quite prevalent, particularly in individuals with a family background of cavities.

What Causes Tooth Decay?


Tooth decay can result from factors such as poor oral hygiene and the accumulation of plaque and tartar. Also, they may develop from drinking and eating stuff that sticks to your teeth or has lots of sugar. Bacteria in the mouth and frequent snacking can also lead to cavities. Other causes of tooth decay include insufficient protective fluoride treatments and experiencing dry mouth.

What Is a Tooth Stain?


Tooth stains are marks you can see beneath the enamel (intrinsic) or on the outside of your teeth (extrinsic). They might show up on one spot or cover several teeth. Stains can be different colors like brown, white, yellow, black, and sometimes even purple, especially for people who drink a lot of red wine.

What Causes Tooth Stains?


Several factors, including inadequate dental care, tobacco use, aging, and tartar buildup, can contribute to stains on the teeth. Also, trauma, excessive fluoride treatments, illness, and medical treatments may lead to tooth discoloration. Foods known for causing stains on teeth include red wine, dark fruit juices, coffee, tomato-based sauces, and tea. People who consume too many dark-colored fruits and vegetables like berries or beetroot can get tooth stains.

Are you noticing dark spots on your teeth? You may have tooth staining or tooth decay. Make an appointment to see our dentist for an evaluation.


Location
6657 N. Glenwood Street
Boise, ID 83714-1925

Hours
Monday: 8:00 am–5:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am–5:00 pm
Wednesday: 7:00 am–4:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am–5:00 pm
Friday: 7:00 am–12:00 pm


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