If you notice any of the following signs of dental health issues, you should book an appointment with your dentist as soon as you possibly can.

You have suddenly developed a sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink

If you find that you are suddenly unable to consume things like ice-cream or hot coffee without experiencing a sharp pain in one or more of your teeth, you should get in touch with your dentist.

The reason for this is as follows; a sudden sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink is often a sign that the enamel of your teeth has worn away (as a result of bacterial plaque eroding it), to the point where the tooth's dentin layer has become exposed.

Exposure of the dentin layer can lead to sensitivity issues because dentin contains a huge number of microscopic tubes; these tubes are connected to the tooth's pulp, which is made mostly of nerve fibres.

As such, if your tooth has lost some of its protective enamel and you then consume a very hot or cold drink, the nerves in your tooth's pulp will end up being exposed to the drink's extreme temperature, via the tubes in the dentin layer. This is what causes the pain you experience when you consume a hot or cold fluid.

Unfortunately, eroded tooth enamel cannot be regenerated. As such, in this situation, your dentist may need to fit artificial crowns over the affected teeth in order to shield the dentin layer and thus resolve your sensitivity issues.

There is a hard, yellowish substance on your teeth

If there is a yellowish, hard-textured substance around the perimeters of your teeth (particularly in the area where the teeth meet the gum line) and you find that you cannot get rid of it with your toothbrush, you should book a check-up at your local dental clinic.

The reason for this is that this hard, irremovable substance is probably tartar. Tartar is a form of solidified plaque. Because of its cement-like texture, it cannot be washed off with a toothbrush but instead can only be removed with a very sharp dental instrument.

Tartar which is left on your teeth can cause a whole host of dental health issues, including gum inflammation (which can lead to periodontal disease and subsequent tooth loss) and decay (which can lead to cavities or abscesses). As such, it is important to have your dentist remove it.