One morning, you wake up with a severe toothache that feels like a sledgehammer hitting your jaws. You try to figure out how this came about, but then you realize you know so little about dentistry. As much as dental problems are common, not many people take time to understand more about dentistry. That's why we encourage all our patients to ask all the questions they might have. As Winnipeg dentists, we are here to address your concerns and point you toward better oral healthcare. The following are the top five commonly asked questions in dentistry:

How often do I need to visit a dentist?

This question comes up every time dentistry is mentioned. Most dentists recommend a visit at least every six months. Because even when your teeth look perfectly fine, most dental issues remain asymptomatic until the problem becomes severe. Some people may need to visit a dentist more regularly depending on the dentist’s recommendation. Particularly those with some specific dental conditions, frequent visits for check-ups and follow-ups are needed.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, can be caused by specific medical problems, oral health issues, or a combination of both. In most cases, bad breath will be caused by bacteria from cavities, gingival tissue, or dorsum of the tongue. Other causes of halitosis may include immunologic disorders, respiratory disorders, and metabolic disorders.

What is a cavity?

Well, we can bet you know cavities are bad in regards to your dental health, but do you really know what they are? Simply put, a cavity is a small opening in your tooth, usually caused by tooth decay. This void space disrupts the overall structure of the tooth and leads to development of bacteria. If not given urgent attention, cavities grow larger with time and may spread to adjacent teeth.

Are dental restorations permanent?

As much as many would want to believe that dental restorations will last eternally, this is not the case. With time, these restorations may become loose and break down. This, in turn, will mean decay around the area, posing danger to the rest of your teeth. However, proper maintenance of dental restorations can increase their longevity.

How can I whiten my teeth?

Teeth whitening is a major concern, especially for people with discoloured teeth. One of the fastest and most effective ways to whiten teeth is with an in-office professional whitening procedure.

What is the difference between dental crowns and dental veneers?

Dental crowns and dental veneers are two distinct types of corrective dental procedures that are meant to enhance the appearance of your teeth. Simply put, a dental crown helps support and invigorates your tooth’s structure. It is mainly used for covering a cracked tooth and for large fillings. Dental veneers are used to transform the shape of your teeth and mask any discolouration. Unlike dental crowns which focuses on the structure of the crown, dental veneers are used purely to enhance the cosmetic appearance of your teeth.

You do not necessarily have to know everything about dentistry. However, understanding the basics makes you know what to do when dealing with any minor or emergent dental issues.