Dental Glossary to Help At Your Next Visit

If you've already scheduled an appointment with your dentist, a dental glossary will help you know your frenum from your gingiva. This glossary will help you understand what your dentist is saying during your appointment so that it is easier for you to understand problems you are experiencing and the available treatment options:

Helpful Dental Terms

Apicoectomy: This is the surgical removal of a root tip in order to treat a dead tooth

Abrasion: This is damage to your tooth due to brushing too hard or grinding your teeth.

Bitewing: X-ray of your mouth to help detect tooth decay

Bleaching: A whitening technique that helps lighten the color of stained teeth through laser or chemical treatments

Bonding: A filling material that's applied to teeth to change their shape or color

Bruxism: The involuntary habit of clenching or grinding your teeth

Calculus: A hard mineral deposit coated with plaque that builds up on your teeth and causes inflammation of your gums. Also known as tartar

Crown: This is an artificial cover that strengthens and protects severely damaged or decayed teeth

Curretage: Removal of diseased tissues from periodontal pockets

Dentin: The inner layer of your tooth's structure immediately under the surface enamel

Extraction: The process of removing all or part of the tooth

Filling: This is a material used to restore the structure of your damaged tooth. Filling is usually made of metal, porcelain, or plastic

Frenum: A piece of skin that connects your lower jaw to your lower lip. It is also the name of the skin that connects your tongue to your gums

Gingiva: Also called gums. These are soft tissues that hold your teeth and protect them from infections

Gingivitis: Early stages of gum disease. Gingivitis is characterized by inflamed gums that bleed easily. It is caused by buildup of plaque

Gingivectomy: Surgical removal of gum tissues

Malocclusion: This is a condition in which the top and bottom teeth are not lined up well. Malocclusion makes it harder to bite or chew properly

Maxilla: Upper jaw

Mandible: Lower jaw

Nightguard: This is a removable acrylic appliance that you wear at night to reduce the effects of grinding your teeth

Periodontitis: This is a severe inflammation of the gums due to chronic gingivitis. This gum disease can cause your teeth to loosen and fall out

Plaque: A sticky substance that coats your teeth and harbors growth of bacteria. The easiest way to prevent plaque buildup is to brush and floss your teeth

Pulp: Soft tissues inside your teeth where the nerves and blood vessels are

Retainer: An appliance that's placed in your mouth to help maintain the position of your teeth following orthodontic treatment

Root canal: This is a procedure that removes all the pulp and soft tissues from a severely infected tooth and fills the space with a permanent filling.

Scaling: This is a procedure that removes hardened plaque from your teeth

Temporomandibular Joint: This is a joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull

Temporomandibular Joint Disease: Clicking or pain due to problems associated with the temporomandibular joint and surrounding muscles

Xerostomia: Dry mouth or decrease in saliva production. This condition can cause bad breath and an increase in cavities gum infections

Call (610) 571-2520 to schedule an appointment with Leardi Family Dentistry in our Kennett Square dental office.

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