Can a black cavity be saved?

This blogpost will answer the question Can a black cavity be saved? And will include the following topics:Other causes of Black Teeth

Cavities/tooth decay, Symptoms. Causes. Risk factors. Complications

Will my tooth go black after root canal?How long does it take for a tooth to go black?Will my chipped tooth go black?Treatment Options Available

Preventing tooth decay in adults

Can a black cavity be saved?

Yes, a black cavity can be saved.A cavity turns balckwhen the decay has progressed to the dentin after damaging the enamel. Appropriate and timely treatment can save your tooth. This is why it is important to visit your dentist regularly.

Other causes of Black Teeth

There are many potential causes that can turn your teeth black. Some of them are very serious concerns, while others may be mostly cosmetic problems. Potential causes include:



Metal fillings


Tooth trauma

Cavities/tooth decay

Cavities are small openings or holes that develop on the surface of the tooth due to tooth decay. Tooth decay is called dental caries and happens due to the acid attack by the bacteria present in the mouth. Tooth decay starts from the top layer protective layer that is the enamel and if not treated, progresses deep into the tooth upto the root and even the bone.

Cavities and tooth decay are among the world’s most common health problems. They’re especially common in children, teenagers and older adults. But anyone who has teeth can get cavities, including infants


Signs and symptoms of cavities can vary, depending on the extent and location. In the initial stages, you may not even experience any symptoms. 

Symptoms begin to show when the decay progresses in the enamel.

You may experience one or more of these symptoms:


Tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold

Visible holes or cavities on your teeth

Brown, black or white discoloration on the surface of a tooth

Pain while biting

Inflamed gums

Swelling on the face

Unpleasant taste

Mild fever

Loss of appetite


Cavities are caused due to tooth decay. 

Tooth decay can occur due to various reasons:

Poor oral hygiene

Regular intake of sugary foods.

Decreased salivary secretion ( may happen due to certain health condition or medications)

Not flossing regularly

Wrong brushing technique


Not getting regular dental check-ups

Eating food high in acid frequently and not rinsing your mouth afterwards.

Receding gums

Risk factors

Every individual is at risk of developing cavities, but there some factors that may increase the risk such as: 

Tooth location

Cavities mostly occur in the tooth located at the back. These teeth are bigger in size and have more grooves and pits compared to the teeth in the front. Therefore food gets easily accumulated or stuck in these grooves, also they are more difficult to clean due to low accessibility. 

Certain foods and drinks

Foods that can get stuck in the teeth for a longer time like cookies, chips, breads, caramel, chocolate promote cavities. Also drinks that are acidic and/or sugary like sodas, soft drinks, milk etc promote tooth decay. Certain fruits that are acidic like oranges, limes can cause tooth decay if you do not rinse your mouth immediately after eating them. 

Frequent snacking or sipping

When you snack or munch frequently, the bacteria present in your mouth repeatedly produce acid and attack the enamel eventually causing demineralization and cavities. Hence frequency snacking and even drinking of sugary/acidic drinks should be avoided.


Bedtime infant feeding

When babies are given bedtime bottles filled with milk, formula, juice or other sugar-containing liquids, these beverages remain on their teeth for hours while they sleep, feeding decay-causing bacteria. This damage is often called baby bottle tooth decay. 

Inadequate brushing

If you don’t clean your teeth or at least rinse your mouth as soon as you finish eating and drinking, plaque will begin to form which is the first stage of decay.

Not getting enough fluoride

Fluoride is  a natural mineral, the enamel consists of fluoride and has a potential to repair itself because of it. Fluoride helps prevent cavities and can even reverse the earliest stages of tooth damage. You get fluoride from the water you drink and your toothpaste. 

Lack of fluoride leads to it’s deficiency in the enamel, making it prone to cavities. 

Dry mouth

Reduced saliva leads to dry mouth. Saliva plays a major role in washing away decay-causing bacterias, hence reduced saliva in some individuals can make them more susceptible to decay. Dry mouth can happen due to certain medical conditions like Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes etc. it can also happen due to intake of come medicines like antihistamines, antipsychotic, antidepressants etc. Sometimes therapies like radiotherapy or chemotherapy can also lead to dry mouth.

Worn fillings or dental devices

Faulty or broken fillings can easily become a site of plaque accumulation leading to tooth decay and cavities.



An untreated cavity can lead to a lot of complications both in the mouth and in the body. 

Complications of the mouth :


Tooth abscess

Swelling around a tooth

Pus around the tooth

Damage or broken teeth

Chewing problems

Complications in the body:


Cardiovascular problems

Pregnancy complications

Kidney disorders

Dementia etc

Will my tooth go black after root canal?

A widespread misunderstanding is that a root canal treatment would cause a tooth to turn black. As the tooth rots and decomposes on the inside, it commonly becomes black before root canal therapy. All of the deteriorating tissue will be removed, and the blackness will not worsen if root canal therapy is performed correctly. However, depending on how the root canal treatment is performed and which material is used, there may be some slight tooth discoloration following the procedure..

How long does it take for a tooth to go black?

If tooth decay is the reason for the blackness, it could take several years for the blackness to develop. If the darkness is the result of trauma, the internal tooth tissue will begin to die and become black as soon as the tooth’s blood supply is cut off.

Will my chipped tooth go black?

If the chip in your tooth is only in the enamel (the outer layer portion of your teeth), it is unlikely to become black as long as you maintain it clean. There is no need to see a dentist right away; simply schedule an appointment as soon as possible to explore your options.

If a chip in your tooth breaks through the enamel and into the dentin (the softer portion of the tooth), the dentin is more likely to discolour and darken. Because the dentin is softer, it is more susceptible to dental decay, which can result in a black tooth. You should visit a dentist about it, but it would not be called an emergency appointment until there is pain involved.

If the chip breaks through the enamel, dentin, and pulp (the living blood supply component of your tooth), it will almost certainly be highly painful, and you may even see blood from the chip. If you don’t treat it, not only will you be in a lot of pain, but the tooth will start to die and will almost likely become black. You should make an appointment with an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

Treatment Options Available

The severity of tooth cavity therapy is variable. Your dentist will be able to detect tooth decay with a simple oral examination. A dental x-ray will assist the dentist to locate cavities that are not visible during an oral exam. A cavity can be treated in a number of ways, including:

Fluoride treatment: 

Did you know that fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash can help prevent cavities and lessen the need for future dental cavity treatment? Brushing with fluoride toothpaste on a regular basis works as a complement to dental therapy. If your tooth decay is still in its early stages, a fluoride treatment performed by a dentist might help you reverse the damage.

Tooth filling:

Fillings are used to fix small fractures and cavities in the teeth. A dentist removes decaying material from a tooth before filling it with silver, gold, or composite resins, depending on your desire.

Dental crowns and bridges:

If you have a tooth that has a root canal, is fractured, or has deteriorated, porcelain crowns are the ideal solution to reinforce the tooth structure and restore your attractive smile. If you have a lost tooth, though, your Texas dentist will replace it with a porcelain bridge. Dental bridges are a long-lasting solution for repairing a lost tooth.

Root canal:

When a dental cavity causes the death of your nerves, you’ll require a root canal procedure to save your tooth. Your endodontic specialist will remove any decaying areas of your tooth, check for infections, provide treatment, and lastly fill and seal your tooth.

Preventing tooth decay in adults

Although tooth decay is a common problem, it’s often entirely preventable.

The best way to avoid tooth decay and keep your gums as healthy as possible is to:

visit your dentist regularly – your dentist will decide how often they need to see you based on the condition of your mouth, teeth and gums

cut down on sugary and starchy food and drinks, particularly between meals or within an hour of going to bed – some medicines can also contain sugar, so it’s best to look for sugar-free alternatives where possible

look after your teeth and gums – brush your teeth properly with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and use floss and an interdental brush at least once a day

see your dentist or a GP if you have a persistently dry mouth – this may be caused by certain medicines, treatments or medical conditions

Frequently asked questions (FAQS)

Can you reverse a black cavity?

No, you cannot reverse a black cavity. Cavities have a chance of reversing when caught at a very early stage. A cavity turns black when it reaches the dentin after invading the enamel, and at this stage only a dentist can save your tooth.

How do you fix black cavities?

There are various ways to fix a black cavities depending upon the stage of damage.

This includes tooth filling, root canal treatment, fluoride application, extraction.

Is it bad if a cavity is black?

Yes, it is bad if a cavity is black.A cavity turns black when the damage has reached the dentin, which is the layer present below the enamel.

How long does it take for a cavity to destroy a tooth?

It can take a few months to years for a cavity to destroy a tooth. It depends on various factors like oral hygiene, diet, medical conditions etc.

What does it mean when a cavity turns black?

Cavity turns black when the decay has reached the advanced stage.

Other FAQs about Teeth Cavities that you may be interested in.

Are cavity fillings covered by insurance?

Are cavities too big for fillings?

Are cavities normal in adults?

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