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KNOW YOUR TEETH A BIT MORE PRECISELY
 
                                                  
 
 
Abrasion
Wear and tear of teeth from an external substance like a hard bristle tooth brush, coarse tooth powder or tooth picks etc. It can be prevented and treated with proper dental care. Abraded surfaces can be restored with life like tooth-colored restorations or composite resin restorations.
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Abutment
It is the tooth (or implant), which supports the fixed denture prosthesis. Abutments serve as pillars for the fixed dentures.
 
 
Alveolar Bone
It is that part of jaw bones which supports our primary (milk teeth) and permanent teeth. It resorbs in areas of pressure and forms in areas of tension. Alveolar bone is known as slave of the teeth. If teeth do not erupt, no alveolar bone will be there. If teeth are lost, alveolar bone is also lost.
 
 
Amalgam
A metal alloy mixed with mercury is known as amalgam. In dental treatment silver amalgam alloy is normally used for the restoration of carious lesions.
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Anemia
It is defined as a qualitative or quantitative deficiency of hemoglobin, a molecule inside red blood cells (RBCs). As hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, anemia leads to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs. Since all human cells depend on oxygen for survival, varying degrees of anemia can have a wide range of clinical consequences. Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. There are several kinds of anemia, produced by a variety of underlying causes. Anemia can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs, underlying etiologic mechanisms and discernible clinical spectra.
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Anesthesia
General Anesthesia: A controlled state of unconsciousness, accompanied by a partial or complete loss of protective reflexes, including loss of ability to independently maintain airway and respond purposefully to physical stimulation or verbal command, produced by a pharmacologic or non-pharmacologic method or combination thereof.

Intravenous Sedation/Analgesia: A medically controlled state of depressed consciousness while maintaining the patient’s airway, protective reflexes and the ability to respond to stimulation or verbal commands. It includes intravenous administration of sedative and/or analgesic agent(s) and appropriate monitoring.

Local Anesthesia: The loss of pain sensation over a specific area of the anatomy without loss of consciousness.

Non-Intravenous Conscious Sedation: A medically controlled state of depressed consciousness while maintaining the patient’s airway, protective reflexes and the ability to respond to stimulation or verbal commands. It includes administration of sedative and/or analgesic agent(s) by a route other than IV; (PO, PR, Intranasal, IM) and appropriate monitoring.

Regional Anesthesia: A term used for local anesthesia.
 
 
 
Analgesia
Relief of pain without loss of consciousness. It may be achieved with analgesic drugs or local anesthetic drugs.
 
 
 
Angular Cheilitis
It is the feeling of dryness and burning sensation at the corners of the mouth. There is wrinkling of skin near the corners to form deep fissures and cracks. Deficiency of vitamin B-complex and decreased vertical height of jaws due to attrition or missing teeth are considered to be the reasons behind this. Vitamin B-complex supplements, restoration of jaw height by fabricating complete dentures in edentulous patients and restoration of attritioned teeth are common measures for its treatment.
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Ankylosis
It is the immobility and consolidation of a joint due to disease, injury or surgical procedure. In case of jaw joint (Temporomandibular joint or TMJ) it usually occurs due to infection or traumatic injury. TMJ ankylosis can occur at any age, but mostly it occurs during childhood. Patient may or may not be able to open the mouth. It depends on wheather the ankylosis is bony or fibrous. Childhood ankylosis of TMJ is almost always associated with facial deformity. It also leads to underdevelopment of lower portion of face. Treatment of bony ankylosis of TMJ is surgical. Fibrous ankylosis may be treated by functional methods.
 
 
 
Aphthous Ulcers
It is painful recurrent solitary or multiple ulceration of oral cavity. Bacterial infection, immune disturbance, vitamin B-Complex or mineral deficiency are considered to be the causative factors. Trauma to oral tissues, hormonal imbalance, psychological stress and allergy to certain foods or drugs are thought to be the precipitating factors. These ulcers are more frequent in females and mostly occur between 10 to 30 years of age. It is believed that every 5th person in the world is affected with this.
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Apicoectomy
It is a minor surgical procedure where root tip of affected tooth is removed after proper root canal therapy of the said tooth. The procedure is used as a dental solution for various periapical pathologies like periapical granuloma or cyst.
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Attrition
Wear and tear of tooth against tooth. A certain amount of tooth wear is physiologic. But intensified or excessive tooth wear leads to sensitivity to cold & hot, decrease in facial height and tenderness of temporomandibular joint (lower jaw joint). Condition can be corrected with proper dental treatment like - light cured composite resin restorations, porcelain, gold or base metal crowns. Besides this, causative factor has also to be explored and removed.
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Baby Bottle Caries
It is the decay of upper milk teeth of children due to prolonged use of (1) nursing bottle with milk, juice or other sweetened fluids, or (2) Sugar or Honey sweetened nipples as an aid for sleeping at night or at naptime. Lower anterior teeth of the child are spared, because they are covered with tongue. The decay may be so severe that only roots are left.
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Bacteria
Bacteria (singular : bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. Typically a few micrometers in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods to spirals. They are ubiquitous in every habitat on earth, growing in soil, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste, seawater and deep in the earth's crust. Bacteria are vital in recycling nutrients, and many important steps in nutrient cycles depend on bacteria, such as the fixation of nitrogen from the atmosphere. The study of bacteria is known as bacteriology. Some bacteria are pathogenic and they cause diseases. Dental caries is the most common bacterial disease. Tuberculosis is another common bacterial disease killing about two million (20,00,000) people every year.
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Benign Tumor
Non-malignant, non-invasive, localized and usually non-recurrent growth of tissue.
 
 
 
Bicuspid
Teeth with two cusps also known as premolars. They are eight in number and are permanent.
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Biopsy
Process of removal of diseased tissue for histological examination. It can be incisional or excisional.
 
 
 
Bruxism
Clenching or grinding of the teeth when the individual is not chewing or swallowing. Most people are not aware of this habit until unless bruxism is brought to their attention. In most cases it is not harmful. But in some cases forceful teeth grinding may lead to abnormal wear and tear of teeth. In such cases, besides stress reduction and anxiety management measures, proper dental health measures in the form of night guards etc. may be required.
 
 
 
 
Calculus
Hard calcium salts deposited on teeth surfaces. It can be supragingival (above the gum margin and visible) or sub-gingival (under the gums and not visible). This acts as a main supporting stay for dental plaque, materia alba and food debris which are store houses for harmful bacteria. It also leads to inflammation of gingival tissues known as gingivitis. It is to be removed completely for proper dental health and hygiene maintenance.
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Canine
These are single cusp teeth, four in number and are present in both deciduous and permanent dentition. They are used for tearing of food.
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Cast Partial Denture
Here base frame of denture is made of high strength base metal alloy. Teeth are made of acrylic. It is also designed in those cases where fixed partial denture prosthesis is not feasible.
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Cementum
It is the calcified thin connective tissue layer over the outer surface of root portion of teeth.
 
 
Complete Denture
These are usually removable dentures made of acrylic resins to restore the dentition in edentulous patients. These can either be of metal base or acrylic base. Fixed complete dentures can also be fabricated with the help of implant abutments.
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Complete Jacket Crown
All root canal treated teeth become brittle and thus have increased tendency of breakage. So they must be covered with a full jacket crown popularly known as Dental Cap. Mutilated, fractured, badly discolored or grossly decayed & restored teeth may also require the same. Crown can be a noble or base metal crown, metal-ceramic or pure ceramic crown. Besides providing strength and durability to teeth, they give them life like appearance also.
 
 
Composite Resin
It is wonder dental restorative material. It has revolutionized the science of dentistry and has replaced a number of other restorative materials. It comes in various teeth colored shades and is used for cementing, restorative and splinting purposes. Restorations of composite resin are quite stable and give life like appearance. It can either be light cured or self cured.
 
 
Composite Eesin Restorations
Light cured composite resin restorations are quite durable and life-like if done by expert hands. They are popularly known as cosmetic fillings or teeth colored fillings. They can be done in all types of teeth may be milk teeth or permanent one, may be anterior or posterior teeth.
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Cosmetic Dentistry
It is a discipline with in dentistry in which primary focus lies on the modification of appearance of a patient’s teeth and surrounding structures, along with the prevention and treatment of organic, structural or functional oral disease.
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Crown
Anatomical Crown: That portion of teeth normally covered by, and including, enamel;
 
 
Abutment Crown: Artificial crown serving for the retention or support of a dental prosthesis;
 
 
Artificial Crown: Restoration covering or replacing the major part, or the whole of the clinical crown of a teeth;
 
 
Clinical Crown: That portion of a teeth not covered by supporting tissues.
 
 
Crown Lengthening: A surgical procedure exposing more teeth for restorative purposes by apically positioning the gingival margin and/or removing supporting bone.
 
 
 
Cusp
It is the pointed portion of occlusal surface of posterior teeth. Single cusp teeth are known as cuspids or canines. Two cusp teeth are known as bicuspids or premolars and four or five cusp teeth are known as molars.
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Cyst
Pathological cavity, usually lined with epithelium, containing fluid or soft matter.
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Debridement
Removing foreign matter or dead tissue.
 
 
 
Decay
The lay term for carious lesions in a teeth; decomposition of teeth structure. It can be prevented with proper dental care.
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Deciduous Teeth
They are primary or milk teeth which start erupting at the age of six months. All the milk teeth usually erupt by the age of 2 to 3 years. They are twenty in number. Besides serving the normal function of chewing of food, they are also important for proper development and growth of jaws. They maintain space and path for the permanent teeth. They start shedding at the age of 6-7 years. By the age of 12-13 years, usually all the primary teeth are replaced with permanent ones. Proper care and restoration of any carious lesions of these teeth is as important as that of permanent teeth.
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Dental Cap
All root canal treated teeth become brittle and thus have increased tendency of breakage. So they must be covered with a full jacket crown popularly known as Dental Cap. Mutilated, fractured, badly discolored or grossly decayed & restored teeth may also require the same. Crown can be a noble or base metal crown, metal-ceramic or pure ceramic crown. Besides providing strength and durability to teeth, they give them life like appearance also.
 
 
 
Dental Caries
It is a disease of teeth in which there is demineralization and destruction of teeth substance, leading to discoloration, holes or cavities in teeth. It is most prevalent chronic disease affecting the human race. Once it occurs, its manifestations persist throughout life, although the defect is treated. If affects all regions of the world, all races, all socio-economic strata and every age group. It usually begins soon after the teeth erupt in the oral cavity. Bacteria play major role in the initiation and progression of caries. Sugars are also equally responsible for caries production. Refined and pure sugars are more cariogenic. There is general agreement that dental caries occur beneath dental plaque. Proper treatment of all carious lesions, whether small or large, painless or painful is a must to prevent the teeth loss. Initial and painless carious lesions can be treated with simple silver-amalgam restorations or teeth colored composite resin restorations. In case of advanced painful cases, a proper root canal therapy followed by a complete jacket crown may be required.
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Dental Floss
It is a sort of nylon thread or tape used for cleansing adjacent teeth surfaces. It can be waxed or unwaxed. It comes in the form of reel or single use and throw type. The purpose of flossing is to remove dental plaque, not to dislodge or remove food debris from interdental spaces.
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Dental Plaque
It is the acquired bacterial coating, which is one of the major factors for the initiation of teeth decay and gum diseases. Calculus is always covered with plaque. Proper brushing after meals is a must for removal of plaque and thereby prevention of teeth and gum diseases. Thorough removal of plaque is the keystone to the success of all the dental treatments. Without plaque control dental health can neither be attained nor preserved. For patients with healthy gums and teeth, plaque control mean preservation of health. For patients with gum diseases, its control means optimal healing following gum treatment. For treated patients, plaque control means the prevention of recurrence of disease. Proper teeth brushing, interdental teeth brushes, dental floss, gum massage and rinsing with warm saline are some common plaque control measures.
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Dental Prophylaxis
Scaling and polishing procedure performed to remove coronal plaque, calculus, and stains.
 
 
Dental Prosthesis
It is an artificial device used for replacing one or more missing teeth. It can either be removable or fixed one.
 
 
Dental Pulp
A very delicate tissue inside teeth containing blood vessels & nerve fibres. It is protected by dentin and enamel coverings. Continuous teeth decay due to carious lesions or other factors, if not checked, may lead to inflammation of pulp and ultimately its “death”. In case of extensive teeth decay due to carious lesions pulp may get exposed. In such a condition, teeth can only be saved by doing RCT (Root canal treatment), followed with complete jacket crown.
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Dentifrices
They are aids for cleaning and polishing teeth surfaces. They are mostly used in the form of a paste, but powder and liquid forms are also available. They are also used as vehicles for certain chemotherapeutic agents to inhibit dental plaque, calculus, dental caries or hypersensitivity. There use carries a due importance for proper maintenance of dental health.
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Dentin
That part of teeth that lies beneath enamel and cementum. It is sensitive in nature and less hard than enamel. After reaching this layer carious lesions spread more fast.
 
 
Denture
An artificial substitute for missing one or more natural teeth along with adjacent tissues. It can either be partial denture or complete denture. Further, it can be fixed partial denture or removable partial denture.
 
 
Diabetes
It is characterized by disordered metabolism and abnormally high blood sugar levels resulting from insufficient levels of the hormone insulin, The characteristic symptoms are excessive urine production (polyuria) due to high blood glucose levels, excessive thirst and increased fluid intake (polydipsia) in an attempt to compensate for increased urination, blurred vision due to high blood glucose effects on the eye's optic nerve, unexplained weight loss and lethargy. These symptoms are likely to be less apparent if the blood sugar is only mildly elevated. are likely to be less apparent if the blood sugar is only mildly elevated.
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Diastema
Space or gap between two teeth. The term is usually applied to an open space between upper central incisors. It is sometimes caused by tongue thrusting or the pulling action of labial frenum. It can be corrected with proper orthodontic treatment or with veneers and laminates.
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Dry Socket
It is the condition in which wound after extraction of a teeth degenerates due to disintegration of blood clot. Loss of blood clot leads to severe pain along with foul odor. But, there is no pus formation. The condition derives its name from the fact that after the clot is lost the wound has a dry appearance because of the exposed bone. Healing of dry socket is very slow.
 
 
 
Edentulous
teethless. There are a number of state of the art, affordable dental plans for edentulous patients.
 
 
Enamel
It is the hardest and outer most layer of teeth and protects dentin of crown portion of teeth. Its loss due to attrition, abrasion, erosion or dental caries may lead to hypersensitivity of teeth. It must be protected by all means for normal dental health.
 
 
 
Epiglottis

The epiglottis is a lid-like flap of elastic cartilage tissue covered with a mucous membrane, attached to the root of the tongue. It projects obliquely upwards behind the tongue and the hyoid bone. The epiglottis guards the entrance of the opening between the vocal folds.

 
 
Erosion
It is the loss of tooth structure (other than carious loss) due to some problem with digestive system, medicinal therapy, field of occupation and dietary habits (excessive use of baking products, citrus fruits and carbonated drinks). Eroded teeth can be restored with tooth-colored light cured composite resin restorations.
 
 
 
Extraction
Act or process of removing a tooth or tooth parts. It is a completely painless procedure done under local anesthesia. Procedure is carried out in those teeth whose scope of restoration is poor or which are constantly causing problems like impacted wisdom teeth. Some teeth are required to be extracted for some sort of orthodontic treatment.
 
 
 
 
Fissured tongue
This malformation is clinically manifested by numerous small furrows or grooves on the dorsal surface of tongue. It is usually painless except in cases where food debris has collected in grooves.
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Fixed Partial Dentures
One or more missing teeth can be replaced with a fixed partial denture, popularly known as bridge work. Here teeth adjoining to the missing one are prepared as abutments. In certain cases there can be implant abutments also. Bridge work can be done in noble metal allay, base metal alloy or a combination of metal and ceramics. Ceramics are used for high esthetic results. Bridge work is quite a durable dental solution and may last for tens of years.
 
 
Flexible Dentures
Removable partial dentures with flexible denture base material. They are easy to remove and fit snugly. They are usually planned in those cases where dental solution in the form of fixed partial dentures is not feasible.
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Fluorosis
Brownish discoloration of teeth due to excessive intake of fluoride in drinking water. If fluoride content of drinking water is more than 1ppm then it leads to yellowish to brown discoloration. Excessive content may lead to severe black discoloration and mottling of teeth. The condition can be treated with the help of bleaching, lamination or complete jacket crown as the case may be.
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Food debris
When we eat or drink something, some food particles are left behind in pits and fissures of teeth, interdental spaces, gingival & periodontal pockets, carious lesions and other defective holes in the oral cavity. These left over food particles disintegrate and get decayed. This is known as food debris. It helps as a store house for harmful bacteria and leads to dental plaque formation.
 
 
 
 
Gingiva
It is the soft tissue membrane covering the alveolar bone (tooth bearing portion of jaw bone). It is also known as gums.
 
 
 
Gingival Hyperplasia
An overgrowth of gingival tissues due to some disease process.
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Gingivectomy
It is the surgical removal of gingival tissues.
 
 
Gingivitis
Inflammation of gingiva or gums. It may be acute or chronic. Bacteria, calculus, Food debris, faulty restorations, mouth breathing and malposed teeth are common local factors for its occurrence. Nutritional deficiencies, drug reactions, pregnancy, diabetes, allergy and heredity etc. may be other reasons. Proper treatment of gingivitis is of utmost importance to restore the normal health of gums.
 
 
Gingivoplasty
The surgical procedure to reshape gingival tissues.
 
 
Glossitis
It is painful or burning sensation of tongue. Tongue is inflamed. The condition may be caused due to local factors like trauma from some object, hot or cold food, chemicals or accidental tongue biting. Anemia, deficiency of vitamin B complex or vitamin-C, certain diseases like – diabetes, hypothyroidism and use of tobacco or spices may also lead to burning and painful tongue.
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Gums
It is the soft tissue membrane covering the alveolar bone (tooth bearing portion of jaw bone).
 
 
Guttapercha
It is a latex type material of plant origin. In dentistry, it is exclusively used as an obturation material in root canal therapy.
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Halitosis (Foul smell)
It is the foul odor or foul smell emanating from one’s mouth. It may be caused due to local or extra-oral factors. Retention of food particles in between the teeth, swollen gums, dry mouth, mouth breathing, carious teeth, smoking and alcohol intake are some common local causes for bad breath. Infections of nasal cavity or sinuses are other factors. Besides being a health problem, bad odor is a major social and psychological hazard also. It can be cured with proper care and oral hygiene maintenance procedures. Dental treatment in the form of scaling, restoration of carious teeth and correction of ill-fitting dentures is of utmost importance.
 
 
 
Hypersensitivity
It is the increased sensitivity of teeth towards cold, hot or sweet food. It is due to exposure of dentin to oral environment, more precisely, it is due to exposure of nerve endings present in dentinal tubules. This may be due to attrition of enamel or cementum. It causes intense pain which is further aggravated by cold, air pressure, sugar or external forces over the tooth. Application of potassium nitrate, strontium chloride or sodium monofluorophosphate are some common dental solutions for this.
 
 
 
Hypothyroidism
It is the disease state caused by insufficient production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. Cretinism is a form of hypothyroidism found in infants. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide.
 
 
 
 
Immediate Dentures
Removable denture prosthesis fabricated for immediate replacement of natural teeth after their removal.
 
 
 
Impacted tooth
An unerupted or partially erupted tooth that is positioned against another tooth, bone or soft tissue in such a way that complete eruption is unlikely. Impacted teeth, whenever diagnosed, they should normally be removed.
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Implants
Material inserted or grafted into tissue. In dentistry, science of dental implantology is reaching new heights day by day. Dental implants are emerging as an ultimate dental solution for missing teeth. Here a specially designed sort of screw is placed surgically in the upper or lower jaw bone, as a means for providing an implant abutment for crown or bridge work. Dental implants can be endosteal, subperiosteal or transosteal.
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Incisors
These are single rooted front teeth, eight in number four in the upper jaw and four in the lower one. The number is same in deciduous as well as permanent dentition.
 
 
 
Inlay
An indirect intracoronal dental restoration, fabricated outside the oral cavity. It exactly corresponds to the form of prepared cavity and is cemented into the tooth.
 
 
 
Interdental Brushes
These brushes are the cleansing devices used for removing food debris from interdental spaces. Usually these are prescribed in those cases where there is food lodgment in interdental spaces due to loss of gingival and bony tissue.
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Intraoral
Inside the mouth.
 
 
 
Currently there are no common dental terms listed alphabetically under this letter.
 
 
 
 
Currently there are no common dental terms listed alphabetically under this letter.
 
 
 
 
Labial frenum
It is a small fold of tissue that secures or restricts the movement of upper lip. It is located above and in the middle of upper central incisors. Some times too high or too thick labial frenum leads to the formation of diastema. In such cases frenectomy or frenuloplasty may be required.
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Laminates
In the construction of crowns or pontics, a layer of tooth-colored material, usually made of, but not limited to, composite, porcelain, ceramic or acrylic resin, attached to the surface by direct fusion, cementation, or mechanical retention; also refers to a restoration that is luted to the facial surface of a tooth. It is used to improve the esthetics or protect the damaged tooth surface.
 
 
 
 
 
Malocclusion
It is the abnormal relation of upper and lower teeth, when the jaws are in contact. Malocclusion leads to various dental health problems like increased accumulation of food debris around teeth and thereby leading to inflammation of gums, formation of deep pockets and loss of alveolar bone. Treatment is possible with the help of removable orthodontic appliances or fixed orthodontic appliances. Although malocclusion can be treated at any age, provided the condition of alveolar bone is healthy, but teenage is the best age.
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Malposed teeth
Teeth growing somewhere else than there original position.
 
 
 
Mandible
It is the scientific name given to lower jaw bone. It is attached to the skull with the help of temporomandibular joint.
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Maxilla
It is the name given to upper jaw bone.
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Mesiodens
It is the extra tooth erupting in between upper central incisors. It may be single or paired. It is a small tooth with a cone shaped crown and small root. But dental treatment for this is simple extraction. Gap left after that can be treated either with orthodontic appliances or with prosthetic work.
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Milk Teeth
They are primary or milk teeth which start erupting at the age of six months. All the milk teeth usually erupt by the age of 2 to 3 years. They are twenty in number. Besides serving the normal function of chewing of food, they are also important for proper development and growth of jaws. They maintain space and path for the permanent teeth. They start shedding at the age of 6-7 years. By the age of 12-13 years, usually all the primary teeth are replaced with permanent ones. Proper care and restoration of any carious lesions of these teeth is as important as that of permanent teeth.
 
 
Molars
Posterior teeth (behind bicuspids) on either side of jaw used for grinding of food. They are 12 in number and are known as first molars (erupt the age of 6-7 years), second molars (erupt at the age of 12-13 years) and third molars or wisdom teeth ( erupt at the age of 17 to 21 years).
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Mucin
These are heavily glycosylated proteins secreted from mucosal surfaces of body including oral cavity.
 
 
 
Multilayer Fiber splint
It is made of neatly woven layers of glass fibers reinforced in composite resin. It is usually used for splinting of mobile teeth. After proper scaling and polishing of mobile teeth, a shallow groove (usually half millimeter deep) is prepared and fiber splint of appropriate width is applied with the help of flowable light cure composite resin.
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Night Guard
It is horseshoe shaped flexible appliance that is worn on either of the upper or lower arch teeth. It has to be fabricated separately for each patient. It helps in reducing clenching, grinding and temporomandibular joint problems.
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Noble Metals
Noble metals that are resistant to corrosion or oxidation, unlike most base metals. They tend to be precious metals, often due to perceived rarity. Examples include gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium. In dentistry, they are used in fabrication of complete jacket crowns, fixed partial dentures, inlays, onlays
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Obturation
It is sealing of root canals of teeth with root canal sealer and gutta percha during root canal therapy.
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Occlusion
It is the contact between biting or chewing surfaces of upper and lower teeth.
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Onlay
An indirect restoration fabricated outside the oral cavity that overlays a cusp or cusps of a tooth and is then cemented to the tooth.
 
 
 
Osteoplasty
Surgical procedure to reshape bony tissues.
 
 
 
Overdenture
It is a removable denture that lies over and may be supported by retained roots of teeth or implants.
 
 
 
 
Palate
Comprising of hard and soft palate, forms roof of oral cavity, and separates it from nasal cavity.
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Palliative therapy
Therapy, that relieves pain but is not curative.
 
 
 
Parotid glands
Pair of major salivary glands located in front and below the ears.
 
 
 
Periapical
Around the root apex of a tooth.
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Periapical Abscess
A suppurative process around the root tips of teeth. It usually arises is a result of infection in carious or traumatically injured teeth. It is also known as dento-alveolar abscess. It may be acute or chronic. In acute cases tooth is extremely painful & tender. Affected tooth is usually treated by immediately making an access opening in pulp chamber for drainage of pus and followed by proper root canal treatment.
 
 
 
 
Periapical X-ray
An x-ray that shows several entire tooth (crowns and roots) and includes a small area of periapical region (surrounding the root tips).
 
 
 
Pericoronitis
It is the inflammation of gums around partially erupted teeth due to bacterial infection. It most commonly occurs around partially erupted wisdom teeth. There may be frank pus discharge from gums with foul smell. In acute cases there may be difficulty in opening of mouth along with severe pain.
 
 
 
Periodontal Abscess
It is the localized purulent inflammation of periodontal tissues. It may be acute or chronic. It may lead to bony loss and tenderness of affected teeth. If may be treated with complete oral prophylaxis and proper gum treatment.
 
 
 
Periodontitis
It is the most common type of dental disease. It results from the extension of inflammatory process from gums to other supporting dental tissues. In this disease gums are swollen along with bone loss. Tooth mobility and migration may appear in advanced cases. It may be localized to one or a few teeth or may be generalized throughout the mouth. It is usually painless or with dull pain. Throbbing sharp pain may be there in case of acute periodontal abscess formation. Accumulation of dental plaque is the key causative factor of this disease. Trauma due to malocclusion also plays a role.
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Permanent Teeth
They are 32 in number and start erupting at the age of 6 years. Lower central incisors erupt first. By the age of 12 to 13 years all the deciduous teeth are replaced by permanent one. Wisdom teeth are the last one to erupt.
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Pit & Fissure caries
This type of tooth decay usually develops in the occlusal surfaces of posterior teeth. Deep narrow pits and fissures favor the retention of food debris and bacteria. Decay results from fermentation of food and formation of acid. Early detection and proper treatment of pit and fissure caries is very important.
 
 
 
Pit & fissures sealants
These are highly flowable, self cured or light cured composite resins used for sealing deep pits and fissures in order to prevent food lodgment and thereby preventing pit & fissure caries.
 
 
 
Porcelain
Biocompatible material used to create life like crowns and bridges. In dentistry, it comes in powder form and a number of shades. It can be fused to semi-precious and precious metals for imparting extra strength to crown or bridge work. Along with composite resins, all Porcelain crowns are becoming the main stay for esthetic dentistry. Pink porcelain is used to simulate receded gum tissue.
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Post
An elongated projection fitted and cemented within the prepared root canal, serving to strengthen and retain restorative material and/or a crown restoration.
 
 
 
Premedication
The use of medications prior to dental procedures.
 
 
 
Pulpectomy
Complete removal of vital and non vital pulp tissue from the root canal space. The procedure is a part of root canal therapy.
 
 
 
Pulpotomy
Removal of a portion of the pulp, that is coronal pulp, with the aim of maintaining the vitality of the remaining portion by means of an adequate dressing.
 
 
 
 
Currently there are no common dental terms listed alphabetically under this letter.
 
 
 
 
Radiographs
These are film or digital records of internal body structures, usually bone and teeth. In dentistry there are intraoral, periapical, bitewing and occlusal radiographs. Orthopantogram and cephalogram are the special types of dental radiographs.
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Ranula
A cyst that can develop under the tongue on the floor of the mouth. It is swelling consisting of collected mucin from a ruptured salivary gland duct due to some trauma. Treatment is the excision of top of lesion in a procedure known as marsupialization.
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Rebasing
Procedure of replacing the base of a denture.
 
 
 
Relining
It is the procedure of resurfacing that side of the denture which comes in contact with the soft tissues of mouth to make the denture fit more securely.
 
 
 
Removable partial dentures
Artificial denture prosthesis that can easily be removed and reinserted by the patient him/herself. It replaces partially missing one or more teeth. It can either be cast partial denture or flexible denture.
 
 
 
Root Canal
It is the space inside the root portion of a tooth, containing pulp tissue. There can be one or two canals in a single root. Infection of root canal tissue has to be treated with proper Root canal therapy followed by complete jacket crown.
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Root Canal Therapy
Also known as RCT, is performed in non-vital or infected teeth. It may be due to advanced carious lesions or some trauma. In this procedure, an access cavity is made and decayed pulpal tissue is removed. Length of root canals is ascertained with the help of a device known as apex locator. After that, infected root canals are thoroughly cleaned, enlarged, sterilized and then sealed with proper root canal filling materials. The procedure is usually completed in one or two sittings spread over one week. After that, permanent restoration is done either with silver amalgam or light cure composite resins. Usually, the procedure has to be done under local anaesthesia and has got more than 95% success rate. A root canal treated tooth should always be protected with a complete jacket crown.
 
 
 
 
Saliva
It is the enzyme containing secretion of major and minor salivary glands. It is composed of 98% water, electrolytes, antibacterial compounds and various digestive enzymes. It helps in digestion of food. Decrease in its secretion may lead to xerostomia.
 
 
 
Salivary Glands
They are saliva producing glands, There are three pairs of major salivary glands parotid glands, submandibular glands and sublingual glands. Numerous minor salivary glands are also present over cheek, tongue, palate and floor of mouth.
 
 
 
Scaling
Removal of plaque, calculus and external stains from teeth.
 
 
 
Silver Amalgam Restorations
Although composite resins have replaced almost 80-90% of restoration work since their advent in seventies. But there are certain areas, which still require that old Gold Silver Amalgam. In posterior teeth, where durability and stress bearing weighs more than esthetics, silver amalgam restoration may still be the answer.
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SKYCE - The Sparkling Crystal
Skyce from IvoclarVivadent are jewels, which are specially designed for teeth. It comes in two different sizes in the colour ”crystal”. Talk to your dentist about which size of jewel would look best on your teeth. Skyce does not harm your teeth. The jewelry is applied to teeth in the same way as orthodontic brackets – a procedure which has been around for a long time. Your teeth do not have to be cut or drilled. First your dentist will carefully clean a small spot on your tooth to make sure that the surface is clean and dry. Then, he/she will apply a special fluid to this spot in order to microscopically roughen the tooth surface. This enables the adhesive to stick properly. Next, your dentist will place the stone on your tooth and dry the adhesive with blue light. In some cases, small amounts of adhesive residue may have to be removed, but this procedure – like the rest of the treatment – is painless. If in the future you no longer want the tooth jewelry, your dentist can easily remove it.
 
 
 
Soft Palate
It is the soft tissue constituting the back of the roof of the mouth. Soft palate is distinguished from the hard palate at the front of the mouth in that it does not contain bone. It is movable, consisting of muscle fibers sheathed in mucous membrane, and is responsible for closing off the nasal passages during the act of swallowing.
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Splint
A device used to support, protect or immobilize those teeth which have been loosened, replanted, fractured or traumatized. It can be multilayer fiber splint, acrylic splint or metal splint.
 
 
 
Stomatitis
Inflammation of the mucous lining of oral cavity, which may involve cheeks, gums, tongue, lips, throat, flour and roof of the mouth. It may be caused due to poor oral hygiene, illfitting dentures, too hot drinks, certain medications, allergic reactions or some infections. Stomatitis due to smoking or chewing tobacco is known as stomatitis nicotina.
 
 
 
Sublingual glands
Third and smallest pair of major salivary glands located in the mucosa of the floor of mouth.
 
 
 
Submandibular glands
Pair of major salivary glands located beneath the tongue and opening under the tip of tongue.
 
 
 
Supernumerary teeth
Extra teeth, other than normal dentition. They are usually found in permanent dentition. Most common supernumerary tooth is mesiodens. Upper fourth molar is next common supernumerary. Usually extraction is the treatment of choice for such teeth.
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Taste Buds
Small structures on the upper surface of the tongue, soft palate and epiglottis that provide information about the taste of food being eaten. There are approximately ten thousand taste buds on our tongue.
 
 
 
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
It is the connecting hinge type mechanism between the base of the skull (temporal bone) and the lower jaw (mandible).
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Thumb Sucking
This habit is usually found in most of the infants and children and is considered as quite normal. Most of the children leave this habit by the age of 2-3 years. However, some children do continue with this habit even after this age. In such cases it may lead to deformity of anterior teeth and jaw. Here professional intervention in the form of habit breaking appliance may be required.
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Tooth Cavity
It usually refers to a hole in a tooth mostly due to carious decay, where food impregnation has started. The condition may or may not be painful. Pain depends upon the extension of decay. If infection has crossed enamel and dentin layers and reached up to the pulp, then there may be severe pain in acute cases. Only dull pain or discomfort may be there in chronic cases. It is better to get the tooth cavity properly filled before it becomes painful. A silver amalgam, light cured composite resin or some other restoration may be required to restore the tooth cavity.
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Tooth Filling
It is a lay term used for the restoration of decayed or lost tooth substance due to various reasons. Tooth filling can be done with noble metals, silver alloys, light cured composite resins or porcelain.
 
 
 
Tooth Stains
Staining of teeth may be internal or external. The stains which are incorporated into tooth structure are known as internal or intrinsic tooth stains. Whereas external or exogenous stains are superficial. External stains (e.g. tobacco stains) can be removed with scaling and polishing. Special tooth whitening treatment known as tooth bleaching is required for removal of internal stains.
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Tooth Whitening
The process of aging, florosis and some drug therapies in childhood lead to permanent discoloration of teeth. This discoloration can be removed with the help of a wonder gel carbamide peroxide. The process is known as bleaching. Here a set of special trays is prepared for each patient covering the tooth surfaces to be whitened. Gel is loaded and the trays are seated in mouth for a certain period of time. Process is repeated 3 to 4 times till the tooth color is sufficiently whitened. Procedure may lead to minor sensitivity in some cases which usually sub sides after sometime.
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Torus
A bony elevation or protuberance of bone. In lower jaw it is known as torus mandibularis, and in upper jaw it is termed as torus palatinus. Sometimes these tori may complicate the fabrication of dentures in edentulous.
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Trigeminal Neuralgia
Also known as Tic Douloureux, is a neuropathic disorder of the trigeminal nerve that may cause episodes of intense pain in jaws, teeth, forehead, scalp, eyes, nose, check, ears and lips. It is often falsely attributed to be pain of dental origin. Usually patients get their one or more teeth extracted on the affected side, before a proper diagnosis is made.
 
 
 
Trismus
Also known as lockjaw, is the inability to open the mouth due to certain pathological reasons. Pericoronitis is the most common cause for it. Inflammation of muscles of mastication which is a frequent sequel to surgical removal of mandibular wisdom teeth, peritonsillar abscess and TMJ disfunction are some other common causes of trismus.
 
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Currently there are no common dental terms listed alphabetically under this letter.
 
 
 
 
Veneer
In the construction of crowns or pontics, a layer of tooth-colored material, usually made of, but not limited to, composite, porcelain, ceramic or acrylic resin, attached to the surface by direct fusion, cementation, or mechanical retention; also refers to a restoration that is luted to the facial surface of a tooth. It is used to improve the esthetics or protect the damaged tooth surface.
 
 
 
Wisdom Teeth
These are third molars, four in number, one on either side of jaw, erupt between 17 to 21 years of age. One, two or all the four wisdom teeth may be missing. Sometimes a wisdom tooth may be partially erupted or may not erupt at all, such a tooth is called impacted tooth.
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Xerostomia
Dryness of oral cavity due to decreased salivary secretions. It can lead to difficulty in speech and eating. It may also lead to halitosis and increase in the number of carious lesions. Anxiety, certain medications, certain diseases, diabetes and alcohol in take are some common causes of xerostomia.
 

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Currently there are no common dental terms listed alphabetically under this letter.
 
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Zinc oxide eugenol
It is a paste made from combination of zinc oxide powder and eugenol liquid. It is used as a temporary restorative and luting cement in various dental treatment procedures.
 
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