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Dental Care and Terms

Good dental habits should last a lifetime, and they can help prevent cavities and other infections that can be expensive and painful. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and preferably three times a day, is a good rule of thumb. Use anti-cavity toothpaste and a good toothbrush that can reach hard to get to places. Flossing is equally important, as it removes any food or other debris from in between the teeth. Rinsing with mouthwash can also help to kill germs and keep the mouth protected. If you do not follow good oral care habits, cavities, abscess teeth, and other problems can arise. These problems can be expensive to treat, and can also cause severe inflammation and pain. If the mouth or teeth get infected, serious problems can arise and be very dangerous to one’s overall health.

Mouth Diseases

Not properly caring for the teeth and mouth can result in serious periodontal diseases. A few examples are gingivitis, toothache, infection, and a condition known as oral thrush, which involves bacteria and fungus living in the mouth. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums that can cause redness, soreness, and bleeding. It is a very common side effect in people who do not brush their teeth or floss on a regular basis. Fortunately, good dental care habits can prevent most of these problems. If they do happen to arise, it is advisable to seek the help of a dental professional immediately to avoid any further infection.

  • Cold Sores – An overview on risks, causes, and treatments
  • Dental Extraction – Information on what to do and how to handle a tooth extraction
  • Gingivitis – Definition, symptoms, and more
  • Lichen Planus – Information about this skin disease, including how it affects the mouth
  • Oral Thrush – Who is at risk, and what to look for
  • Periodontal Disease – Some very helpful information from the American Dental Association
  • Periodontitis – Causes and risk factors as well as treatment options
  • Stomatitis – Helpful information about this condition, which refers to blisters in the mouth
  • Tooth Infection – Everyone should know what to look for in regards to a potential tooth infection
  • Toothache – Background on what causes a toothache and different ways to cope


Dental Terminology

Anesthesia – Method by which dentists numb a patient’s mouth before surgery

Anterior Teeth – The six upper and six lower front teeth

Arch – The curvature of teeth when in their normal, natural position

Bicuspids - A tooth having two different points, otherwise known as cusps

Bridge – Dental apparatus used to bridge the gap between two teeth with a missing one in between

Bruxism – Condition when people grit or grind their teeth

Canal – Canal within the jawbone or mandible that helps protect the nerves and blood vessels

Canines – The top two teeth located near the incisors that are the sharpest and used to help chew and cut food

Caries – The progressive disfunction or problem with the teeth, caused by decay

Composite Filling – A type of tooth filling comprised of plastic or another material other than metal

Crown - Dental appendage used to cover up a partial tooth and to protect the tooth from further damage

Curettage – A term for surgery involving scraping of the teeth or mouth

Cusps – Word used to describe the curve in teeth, particularly at the top

Cuspids – The dental term for canines

Denture – False teeth used to replace missing or removed teeth

Edentulous – Term for being without teeth or having no teeth

Flouride – A compound used in toothpaste and other dental related products designed to help prevent cavity formation

Gingiva – The soft tissue that lines the inside of the mouth

Impaction – Instance when teeth become impacted or there is not enough room in the gum line for the tooth to push through

Implant – An alternative to dentures, implants are false teeth that are not removable

Incisors - Teeth found in mammals used to tear food

Mandible – Scientific name for the jawbone

Molars – Large teeth used for grinding food; wisdom teeth are also molars

Orthodontics – Specialty of dentistry that involves the study of and working with improper bites and the issues that arise

Palate - The roof of the mouth in mammals

Periodontics – The study of teeth and the diseases that can affect the teeth

Plaque – Build up of a white substance that forms on teeth due to food and other residue

Posterior Teeth – Molars in the upper and lower jar

Primary Teeth – Baby teeth or temporary teeth

Root Canal – Procedure dentists perform to remove the root of a tooth

Sealant – Material applied to the teeth to protect it from decay or yellowing

Tartar – Hardened plaque that is more difficult to remove than regular plaque

Wisdom Tooth – Third molar teeth that grow in humans as adults, usually between the ages of 18 and 30


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