Glossary of Important Dental Terms, Part 1

When providing dental care for their patients, dentists and their staff often use so much dental jargon that it sounds like they’re speaking a foreign language. The terminology and abbreviations they use may be familiar to some, however, many still find them confusing.

Whether you’re awaiting an emergency dental extraction or suffering from another dental issue, here’s a short glossary of the most common dental terms for a better understanding of your condition and upcoming dental procedure in Escondido.

What are common dental terms you should know?

The history of dentistry helps you understand how far the medical practice has progressed. However, a modern dental practice introduced a number of new terms. This dental glossary will help you recognize some of the most important ones, as well as their informal equivalents.

  1. Abscess – An abscess refers to a painful, enclosed infection of a tooth, soft tissue, or bone. What are common dental terms you should know
  2. Alveolar Osteitis –  A term for a dry socket that occurs when a blood clot forms in the socket and dislodges or breaks down prematurely. 
  3. Bleaching – A peroxide-based treatment for teeth whitening. 
  4. Bonding – Restoring a chipped, decayed, discolored, or fractured tooth with tooth-colored composite resin.
  5. Bridge – A fixed dental prosthesis that covers a gap between adjacent teeth.
  6. Bruxism – A medical term referring to teeth grinding, usually during sleep, without being aware of it.
  7. Burning mouth syndrome – An oral condition that causes pain in the gums, tongue, insides of cheeks, lips, or roof of the mouth, often caused by nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, or medications.
  8. Caries – Tooth decay, also known as cavities.
  9. Cleaning – The removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) from teeth.
  10. Crown – (1) tooth surface above the gum line covered with enamel; (2) a dental restoration that covers most or all of the tooth.
  11. Deciduous teeth – Temporary or milk teeth. In a child’s development, these are the first 20 teeth.
  12. Dental implant – A type of artificial tooth root. They provide support for replacement teeth such as bridges or crowns.
  13.  Dentures – A set of artificial teeth that replaces all the teeth, while partial dentures replace only some of them. It’s possible to take your dentures out of your mouth and put them back in easily.
  14.  Edentulous – Lacking teeth.
  15.  Endodontic procedure – This treatment involves working on the inside of your tooth, particularly when the pulp inside the root canal becomes infected.
  16.  Eruption – The process of a new tooth emerging. All permanent teeth are usually erupted by age 21 in most people. 
  17.  Extraction – Taking a tooth out.
  18.  Filling – The replacement of lost tooth structure with metal, porcelain, or resin.
  19.  Fluorosis – A brown or white spot on the enamel of permanent teeth caused by excessive fluoride intake during childhood. 
  20.  Gingiva –  The soft, pink tissue surrounding the tooth base.
  21.  Gingivitis – A condition that affects the gum tissue, causing inflammation, swelling, and reddish color.
  22.  Gum recession – Loss of gum tissue due to abrasion, erosion, periodontal disease, or surgery.
  23.  Halitosis – An unpleasant smell caused by bacteria in the mouth or gastrointestinal tract.
  24.  Impression – A form of your teeth used for making stone models.
  25.  Impacted tooth – A tooth that cannot grow out due to partial or complete obstruction. 
  26.  Incision and drainage – Draining pus from an abscess surgically.
  27.  Mandible – The lower jaw.
  28.  Maxilla – The upper jaw.
  29.  Molars – Three teeth at the back of each dental quadrant that grind foods.
  30.  Muscle relaxant – Medications used to relieve pain by reducing muscle contractions.

Emergency dental extractions and other interventions in Escondido & beyond

Emergency dental extractions and other interventions in Escondido & beyondAt Temecula Dental Oral surgery, our goal is to make every patient feel comfortable during their visit. While no one desires to have their teeth extracted, sometimes dental extraction will be necessary, for a number of reasons, including dental health and preventing various health risks. When faced with situations like these, you should consult an experienced and knowledgeable oral and maxillofacial specialist to relieve your discomfort and prevent complications from occurring. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us! You can count on us to walk you through the entire process step-by-step and help you understand all the terms involved so you know what to expect.