Glossary - Oral Health
abutment teeth - the surrounding teeth of each side of the gap where teeth are missing.
bruxism - the condition of incessant grinding and clenching of the teeth, unintentionally, and at inappropriate times.
composite resins - also know as white fillings, a composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide) that is used primarily for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
crown - a "cap" that covers a cracked or broken tooth, unfixed by a filling, to approximate its normal size and shape.
DDS - Doctor of Dental Surgery.
deciduous teeth - also known as "baby" or primary teeth.
dental amalgams - also known as silver fillings, dental amalgams are comprised of a mixture of mercury (45 to 50 percent), and an alloy of silver, tin, and copper (50 to 55 percent).
dental fluorosis - a condition that results from drinking overly fluoridated water that often causes the teeth to become discolored and the enamel of the teeth to look spotted, pitted, or stained.
dental implants - small dental appliances that are inserted into the upper and lower jaws to help restore a mouth that has little or no non-restorable teeth.
dental pulp - the soft tissue around the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
dental sealant - a thin, plastic film that is painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth - the molars and premolars - to prevent tooth decay.
DMD - Doctor of Dental Medicine.
endodontist - also called a pulp specialist, a endodontist has undergone specialized training in performing root canal therapy.
halitosis - an oral health condition characterized by consistently odorous breath.
internal derangement of the joint - a dislocated jaw or displaced disc, or injury to the condyle (the rounded edges of the jaw).
malocclusion - an orthodontic problem that means "bad bite," including crowded, missing, or crooked teeth, extra teeth, or a misaligned jaw.
myofascial pain - the most common form of temporomandibular disorder; discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function and the neck and shoulder muscles.
oral and maxillofacial surgeon - orthopaedic facial surgeon who is responsible for treating a wide variety of dental problems - including the removal of impacted teeth and reconstructive facial surgery.
oropharynx - the part of the throat at the back of the mouth.
orthodontics - orthodontics is the dental specialty that focuses on the development, prevention, and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite, and jaws.
pediatric dentist - a specialist in the field of dentistry - dealing particularly with the oral healthcare of children, from infancy through the teenage years.
periodontal diseases - also called gum diseases, periodontal diseases are serious bacterial infections that destroy the gums and the surrounding tissues of the mouth.
periodontist - a specialist in the field of dentistry responsible for the care and prevention of gum-related diseases, guided bone regeneration, and dental implants.
plaque - a thin, sticky film of bacteria.
pontic tooth - false tooth.
porcelain veneers - a ceramic material is bonded to the front of teeth to change the tooth's color, size, and/or shape.
prosthodontist - a dental specialist who has undergone additional training and certification in the restoration and replacement of broken teeth with crowns, bridges, or removable prosthetics (dentures).
temporomandibular joints (TMJ) - the two joints that connect the jaw to the skull.
Disclaimer - This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. © 2009 Staywell Custom Communications.