Q. I have brown and black spots on my lower and upper back tooth region. Are they tooth decay?

Answered by
Dr. Ummah Mohammad
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 01, 2021

Hi doctor,

Two days ago I saw a brown spot on my lower back tooth so I decided to check the rest of my teeth and I have got black marks in the corners of my mouth on the surface of my tooth. The left top side is worse as I have not been having any toothaches or pain so I am worried that it might be signs of tooth decay. Please help.



Welcome to

I saw the attachment (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity) and understand your concern. Basically, by looking at the picture, I have two types of opinion, the confirmation of which either you can say by symptoms or the dentist by using an explorer instrument which will confirm whether it is only a discoloration or any pit and fissure caries. If it is just discoloration or the initial stage, proper scaling will do the needful. If it is caries, you must get the fissure sealed before they spread further. In whichever case, it is the initial stage. Maintain proper oral hygiene. Brush before going to bed at night, and do not take any eatables after brushing at night. Do revert for more queries.

Take care.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

I have added clearer photos. Are they all similar? As I have never had this before. Would you say it is discoloration or pit and fissure like you said earlier?




Welcome back to

To me, it looks carious, but it may or may not be because I only see the pictures (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). An instrument called explorer has ends like that of a needle; your dentist will run that through the surface. If it gets stuck, then it is carious; if it passes smoothly, it is normal. If carious, then further an X-ray will be taken as confirmation and see how far it has reached. The normal explorer test you can try at home even with something similar. I hope I am clear to you. Do revert for more queries.

Take care.

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