Education | Terminology


A localized infection, usually surrounded by inflammation.


Mercury alloy filling, common referred to as a silver filling.


A chemical that causes the loss of feeling.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Decay of the baby teeth caused by prolonged contact with any liquid other than water.

Baby Teeth

Begin to erupt between 6 months and one year of age and help children chew and speak.


Unicellular microscopic organisms.


Drugs such as Fosamax, Actonel, and Boniva that are being used to treat osteoporosis and have been shown to cause jaw bone death in rare cases.


Lightening the shade of the external or internal tooth structure.


A three or more artificial teeth made of gold, porcelain, alloys or a combination of these compounds connected together to fill space(s) from missing teeth and bonded onto surrounding teeth to restore function.


Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws.


Hardened form of plaque.


An oral fungal infection.

Canker sore

Non-contagious small white or gray ulcers with a red border that occur inside the mouth.

Cold Sores/fever blisters

Highly contagious fluid-filled blisters around the lips or around the chin caused by herpes virus type 1.


Tooth colored fillings.


Artificial teeth made of gold, porcelain, alloys or a combination of these compounds.

Dental Insurance

A supplemental program generally with only a $1000 to $1500 maximum coverage per year designed to help cover some of the costs incurred with dental work.


Artificial teeth set in an acrylic base, designed to allow the wearer to eat and speak by replacing all missing teeth.

Dry Mouth

Reduced amount of saliva.

Dry Socket

Slow healing of an extraction site, tobacco use increases the risk.

Endodontic (root canal) treatment

Removal of the nerve within the tooth canal.


Removal of a tooth using physics.


First stages of periodontal disease.


Bad breath.


Artificial tooth root placed into the bone that holds a replacement tooth made of gold, porcelain, alloys or a combination or these compounds or denture to fill space(s).


Thick white colored patch caused by excess cell growth.


Designed to help prevent broken teeth and injures to the lip and tongue during physical activities.

Oral Piercing

Cause an increased risk of periodontal disease and common symptoms such as pain, swelling and infection as well as cracked or chipped teeth.


Used to correct an incorrect bite.

Partial Dentures

Artificial teeth set in an acrylic base connected to a metal or flexible framework to replace select missing teeth.

Periodontal Diseases

Infection of the tissues that support your teeth.


Final stages of periodontal disease.


Sticky film of bacteria.

TMD/TMJ (Temporomandibular Disorders)

Disorders of the jaw joint.

Tooth Numbering Systems

Adult teeth are numbered 1-32; (1) is the upper right molar and follows around the upper teeth to the upper left third molar (16), descending to the lower left third molar (17) and follows around the lower teeth to the lower right third molar (32).


Thin, custom made tooth colored shells designed to cover the front side of the teeth for cosmetic purposes.