Can there be holes in teeth that aren’t usual tooth cavities?

Cavities on tooth are probably the first sign of dental caries. Cavities are often in the form of holes on teeth surfaces. They maybe black, brown or yellowish in color. Tooth sensitivity may or may not present with cavities. But are all holes represent cavities.

Holes in teeth that aren t cavities

All holes you see on the teeth surfaces may not be cavities. Tooth surface may present with occlusal faucets and pits and fissures also. In some cases we cannot differentiate a hole from a cavity and we neglect it as a normal tooth surface. If you see hole on tooth surface, it is better to consult a dentist. Dentist will examine, take radiograph (if needed) and discuss the needed treatment.

What are the holes on teeth surface that aren’t cavity

As discussed, not all holes are cavities. There may be

  • Occlusal facets
  • Pits and fissures

Occlusal wear:

Biting forces

Biting and chewing are regular functions of our teeth. Biting and chewing forces are not even every time. Irregular forces can result in occlusal wear of tooth surfaces, notably chewing surface of tooth. Occlusal wear in the starting stages may not have pain or sensitivity but may resemble as holes on tooth surfaces.

Clenching of teeth

Medically known as Bruxism, clenching of teeth or grinding of teeth is a condition seen in day or night. Many people are not aware that they have this condition.

Holes in teeth that aren t cavities

Stress may be primary triggering factor. These people may have other associated symptoms such as teeth sensitivity, headaches, jaw problems, chipped teeth and more. Dentist may suggest mouth guard and relaxation exercises to treat the bruxism. If teeth surfaces are uneven or fractured with holes

Pits and Fissures:

Pits and fissures are pinpoint or linear depressions and grooves on the chewing surfaces of teeth. Pits and fissures are normal anatomical landmarks which are symmetrical. They are varied for each type of tooth. The pits may appear as holes on teeth. They are higher chances of caries in pits so Dentists usually treat them with dental sealants. 

Holes in teeth are cavities:

Usually, holes on teeth represent cavities. In the preliminary stage, there may be no pain or sensitivity of the tooth. If we neglect cavity deepens resulting in sensitivity and tooth pain. If you notice holes on teeth, appointment with your dentist is preferable.

Sreedevi A, Brizuela M, Mohamed S. Pit and Fissure Sealants. [Updated 2021 Oct 1]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: