- Amalgam – Material made from mercury and other alloy mixtures used to restore a drilled portion of a tooth.
- Anesthesia – Medications used to relieve pain.
- Anterior teeth – Front teeth. Also called incisors and cuspids.
- Arch – The upper or lower jaw.
- Baby bottle tooth decay – Caused by sugary substances in breast milk and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby’s mouth.
- Bicuspids -A premolar tooth; tooth with two cusps, which are pointed or rounded eminences on or near the masticating surface of a tooth.
- Bitewings – X-rays that help a dentist diagnose cavities.
- Bonding – Application of tooth-colored resin materials to the surface of the teeth.
- Bridge – A prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth cemented or otherwise attached to the abutment teeth or implant replacements.
- Bruxism – Teeth grinding.
- Calculus – A hard deposit of mineralized substance adhering to crowns and/or roots of teeth or prosthetic devices.
- Canal – The narrow chamber inside the tooth’s root.
- Canines – Also called cuspids.
- Canker sore – One that occurs on the delicate tissues inside your mouth. A canker sore is usually light-colored at its base and can have a red exterior border.
- Caries – A commonly used term for tooth decay, or cavities.
- Cold sore – Usually occurs on the outside of the mouth, usually on or near the nose or lips. A cold sore is contagious because it is caused by the herpes simplex virus, and it is usually painful and filled with fluid.
- Composite filling – Tooth colored restorations, also known as resin fillings.
- Composite resin – A tooth colored resin combined with silica or porcelain and used as a restoration material.
- Contouring – The process of reshaping teeth.
- Crown – An artificial tooth replacement that restores missing tooth structure by surrounding the remaining coronal tooth structure. It is also placed on a dental implant.
- Cusps – The pointed parts on top of the back teeth’s chewing surface.
- Cuspids – Front teeth that typically have a protruding edge.
- Dentin – The tooth layer underneath the enamel.
- Denture – A removable set of teeth.
- Endodontics – A form of dentistry that addresses problems affecting the tooth’s root or nerve.
- Fluoride – A harmless over-exposure to fluoride resulting in tooth discoloration.
- Fluorosis – A harmless over-exposure to fluoride and resulting sometimes in tooth discoloration.
- Gingiva – Another word for gum tissue.
- Gingivitis – A minor disease of the gums caused by plaque.
- Gum disease – An infection of the gum tissues. Also called periodontal disease.
- Impacted teeth – A condition in which a tooth fails to erupt or only partially erupts.
- Implant – A permanent appliance used to replace a missing tooth.
- Incisor – Front teeth with cutting edges; located in the center or on the sides near the front.
- Inlay – An artificial filling made of various materials, including porcelain, resin, or gold.
- Laminate veneer – A shell that is bonded to the enamel of a front tooth. The shell is usually thin and made from porcelain resin.
- Malocclusion – Bad bite relationship.
- Mandible – The lower jaw.
- Maxilla – The upper jaw.
- Molar – Usually the largest teeth, near the rear of the mouth. Molars have large chewing surfaces.
- Neuromuscular Dentistry – Addresses more than the aches and pains felt in and around the neck and head that are associated with your teeth and jaw.
- Onlay – A filling designed to protect the chewing surface of a tooth.
- Orthodontics – A field of dentistry that deals with tooth and jaw alignment.
- Overdenture – A non-fixed dental appliance applied to a small number of natural teeth or implants.
- Palate – Roof of the mouth.
- Partial denture – A removable appliance that replaces missing teeth.
- Pediatric Dentistry – A field of dentistry that deals with children’s teeth
- Perio pocket – An opening formed by receding gums.
- Periodontal disease – Infection of the gum tissues. Also called gum disease.
- Periodontist – A dentist who treats diseases of the gums.
- Permanent teeth – The teeth that erupt after primary teeth. Also called adult teeth.
- Plaque – A sticky, colorless substance that covers the teeth after sleep or periods between brushing.
- Posterior teeth – The bicuspids and molars. Also called the back teeth.
- Primary teeth – A person’s first set of teeth. Also called baby teeth or temporary teeth.
- Prophylaxis – The act of cleaning the teeth.
- Prosthodontics – The field of dentistry that deals with artificial dental appliances.
- Pulp – The inner tissues of the tooth containing blood, nerves and connective tissue.
- Receding gum – A condition in which the gums separate from the tooth, allowing bacteria and other substances to attack the tooth’s enamel and surrounding bone.
- Resin filling – An artificial filling used to restore teeth. Also called a composite filling.
- Root canal – A procedure in which a tooth’s nerve is removed and an inner canal cleansed and later filled.
- Root planing – Scraping or cleansing of teeth to remove heavy buildup of tartar below the gum line.
- Sealant – A synthetic material placed on the tooth’s surface that protects the enamel and chewing surfaces.
- TMJ – Temporomandibular joint disorder. Health problems related to the jaw joint just in front of the ear.
- Tarter – A hardened substance (also called calculus) that sticks to the tooth’s surface.
- Veneer – A laminate applied or bonded to the tooth.
- Whitening – A process that employs special bleaching agents for restoring the color of teeth.
- Wisdom tooth – Third set of molars that erupt last in adolescence.