Dental Glossary to Help At Your Next Visit

Posted on: February 2, 2018

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 slang term to describe a whitening technique that helps lighten the color of stained teeth through peroxide based treatment

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 organic inner layer of your tooth’s structure immediately under the surface enamel (inorganic)

Extraction: The process of removing the tooth

Filling: Used commonly as a noun describing various materials used to restore the structure of your damaged tooth. Older style Fillings can have many components: glass ionomer, composite resin, porcelain, amalgam (silver), zinc oxide…

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

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 (714) 545-7157 to schedule an appointment with Vanek Dentistry in our Costa Mesa dental office.


Related Posts

October 27, 2016

Costa Mesa Dentist Warns of Caffeine Overdose

As a Costa Mesa dentist office, we stay regularly updated of news stories and scientific studies that relate to oral health and health in general. We have been studying caffeinated drinks and the negative impact …

January 29, 2015

Costa Mesa Dentist Answers Commonly Asked Dental Questions

As a Costa Mesa dentist, we understand the importance and value of education.  We do our best to educate our patients because an informed patient is better equipped to remain in good oral health in …

September 26, 2014

What Does Drinking Coffee and Visiting the Dentist Have in Common?

Good news everyone... here is another great excuse to enjoy your daily coffee break! What do going to the dentist and drinking coffee have in common? According to researchers at the University of Boston, teeth …

October 16, 2018

Tips for Picking a Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Picking a toothbrush and toothpaste is an important part of oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day is the best protection from tooth decay and gum disease. It helps remove food particles and plaque that are …