Yellow teeth? Sensitive gums? What common dental issues really mean.
If your teeth could talk…
You’ve just noticed a crooked tooth. Was that there before? And come to think of it, your gums are feeling a bit sore. Oh well, it’s probably nothing. At least, that’s what you tell yourself.
Unfortunately, these seemingly small problems could be your mouth’s silent cries for help. From yellow stains to sore gums, experts break down the most common dental complaints—and reveal what they mean.
1. Sharp tooth pain
If you experience sudden pain in one or more of your teeth when biting down, you may have tooth decay or cavities, says Sally Cram, DDS, a Washington DC-based periodontist. “There’s a particular type of bacteria that takes sugar from your diet and converts it into acid, which causes tooth decay, or holes in your teeth,” Dr. Cram explains. And when those holes get deep, that causes sensitivity and, eventually, cavities.
If the pain occurs only once in a while and isn’t confined to a single spot, it’s probably nothing to worry about, Dr. Cram says. But if it’s consistent—meaning it recurs for a week or more—you should pay your dentist a visit.