I know that there is a theorem that a non-empty level set of a regular value of a smooth function $f:M\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ on a smooth manifold is a regular submanifold (or embedded submanifold) of codimension 1.

Now I wonder if there is also a condition in which the converse holds true. I mean suppose $c\in\mathbb{R}$ is a critical value of $f$ is there a condition under which you know the level set of $c$ is not a regular submanifold.

If $g:M\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ is defined by mapping all of $M$ to $0$ then it seems to me that $0$ is a critical value of $g$. Now $g^{-1}(0)=M$ so definitely a regular submanifold of $M$. So I know that it is at least not true without an extra condition.

Also if the function is second degree polynomial from $\mathbb{R}$ to $\mathbb{R}$ then the level set of a critical value is just a point which would again be a regular submanifold.

If there is no such general condition on the function $f$ or the critical value then how in general does one go about showing that a critical level set is or is not a regular submanifold?

Thanks in advance

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