1. WARNING SIGN: SHARP TOOTH PAIN
A slight discomfort in your mouth is likely a piece of popcorn or nut lodged between teeth—something you can easily self-treat. But a sudden, sharp pain in your teeth when you bite down or chew is a reason to see your dentist immediately, as it could indicate dental decay or a cavity. For throbbing, aching pain, he says to wait three days. If your mouth is still unhappy after that time, make a visit to your dentist. However, an ache that's located in your top teeth may signal a sinus infection, as the sinuses are located just above the upper roots of your upper teeth. A dentist should be able to tell if your sinuses are clogged with an x-ray, and a decongestant should help the pain subside.
2. WARNING SIGN: BLEEDING GUMS
Seeing red while brushing or flossing could mean you need to step up your home care or that you have periodontal (gum) disease. Make a trip to your dentist as soon as possible for a thorough cleaning, and be sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, as gum disease can be extremely dangerous to the rest of the body. "The harmful bacteria that's causing your gums to bleed can leave the mouth and enter the bloodstream, potentially affecting your heart by inflaming your arteries,” Dr Prashant Ojha says. In certain people with pre-existing heart valve conditions, this can even lead to death. Some studies have also found a possible link between gum disease and premature pregnancy and low birth weights. Although other research has found no association, Dr. Ojha recommends that all pregnant women pay close attention to oral hygiene, ramp up their brushing and flossing regimen, limit sugar intake, and avoid major dental procedures that could in any way influence the baby's growth and development.
3.WARNING SIGN: PERMANENTLY STAINED TEETH
First, the good news: "Most yellow or brownish stains are superficial, usually caused by drinking coffee, tea, soda, or red wine,” Dr.ojha says. He recommends polishing them away with a whitening toothpaste that contains a derivative of hydrogen peroxide such as carbamide peroxide. You can also ask your dentist about over-the-counter treatments. But for darker stains that won't go away, it may be time to see a professional. "Dark black or brown spots on a tooth can signal a cavity, while red or blue hues that appear suddenly could mean the tooth has cracked to the pulp, where the nerves and blood vessels are located," Cram says. This sort of crack cannot be fixed, and the tooth will have to be removed. If you have white, yellow, or brown spots and grooves or pitting on the tooth's surface, you could have celiac disease. "About 90 percent of people with celiac have these problems with their teeth enamel,” DR. Ojha says. "When the onset of celiac disease occurs during childhood, the resulting poor nutrition can lead to a malformation of the developing tooth enamel." If you notice these types of marks, see your dentist who may refer you to a physician for an evaluation. Lastly, some stains may have occurred during childhood as a result of tetracycline antibiotics, and unfortunately, bleach cannot make these go away.