Glossary

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A

Abscess

When the inside of the mouth is sore or irritated, bacteria can cause an infection. Sometimes it manifests as a painful, pus-filled swelling. If the pus cannot get out, this area becomes swollen and sore. And this is what the abscess consists of.

The abscess forms a barrier around the infection. This is a way for the body to try to prevent a bacterial infection from spreading.

Mouth ulcers

Swelling, staining or sore on the mouth, lips or tongue. Unlike cold sores, it is not contagious and is usually caused by stress, allergies or vitamin deficiency.

Anesthesia

Numbness of part or all of the mouth by anaesthetics so that a surgical intervention can be performed. The person is insensitive to pain, heat and touch. The drug is injected into the cheeks or gums and can last for hours.

B

Bleaching

There are many teeth-whitening options to help remove stains such as coffee, tea, wine or tobacco. These whitening procedures can be done using laser or liquids, at home or at the dentist’s, depending on the option chosen.

Bruxism

Grinding or clenching of teeth, usually during sleep. This grinding is believed to be caused by stress and anxiety, but it can also occur when teeth are misaligned due to illness or medication.

C

Cavities

Erosion in tooth enamel caused by acid, causing demineralisation and may penetrate to pulp if not treated with fluorine or filler.

Crown

Tooth cover placed over a damaged or deteriorated tooth.

The crown is made to look like a tooth and is also known as a cap.

Crown is also the name given to the upper surface of the tooth.

D

Dentine

A porous layer of the tooth that protects the nerve. When this layer is exposed it can cause tooth sensitivity.

E

Erosion

Enamel wear due to chemical acid processes. These acids can be gastric or originate from diet.

Enamel

A more resistant and mineralised layer of the tooth. It is one of four main tissues that make up the tooth and is usually visible.

Extraction (Dental)

Removal of a tooth from its cavity in the bone.

F

Floss (Dental)

Wire used to remove plaque and food particles in inter-dental spaces where the toothbrush cannot reach easily - under the gum line and between the teeth. Plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gingivitis, so flossing is highly recommended daily.

Fluorine

Natural mineral found in water and the earth's crust. Helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening enamel.

G

Gingivitis

Gum inflammation caused by dental plaque bacteria. Mild gingivitis may cause little or no pain and may even go unnoticed. However, if left untreated, it can become severe. In some people, gingivitis develops into periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss.

H

Halitosis

Professional term for bad breath. It can be caused by poor oral hygiene, infection, diet, dry mouth or various illnesses.

I

Implants (Dental)

Metal posts or frames surgically positioned in the jawbone or under the gums. Once in place, they allow the dentist to “put together” a natural replacement tooth.

L

Cleaning (Dental)

General check-ups almost always include thorough cleaning by the dentist or hygienist. Using special instruments, the hygienist scrapes below the gum line, removing accumulated plaque and tartar that causes gingivitis, tooth decay, bad breath and other problems. The dentist or hygienist can polish and floss your teeth.

Gum Line

Point where the tooth and gum meet. Without proper brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar build up on the gingival margin, which can lead to gingivitis or periodontitis.

M

Mobility (Dental)

Dental mobility means that the tooth is not fixed in the bone. Teeth with mobility can wobble back and forth (horizontally) or up and down (vertically). This makes it difficult to chew food. The causes are diverse, but largely periodontal disease (periodontitis). In some cases, teeth with mobility need to be extracted.

Bite

General alignment of the teeth. Most bite irregularities can be corrected by orthodontics for comfort and better appearance.

N

Nerve

Element of the tooth’s pulp that conveys pain. It is the centre of the tooth and can be exposed when the enamel is weakened.

O

Orthodontics

Field of ​​expertise in dentistry that diagnoses, prevents and treats irregularities in teeth and face, including the position of teeth and jaws. Orthodontic treatments involve the use of braces.

Orthodontist

Dental expert in the field of orthodontics. Treats irregularities in teeth and face. An orthodontist diagnoses problems to be treated and creates braces for teeth that correct these irregularities.

P

Periodontitis

Untreated gingivitis. Serious infection characterised by a swollen and sensitive gum. Periodontitis destroys tissue and bone. It can lead to tooth loss.

Bacterial plaque

Invisible masses of harmful germs that live in the mouth and stick to the teeth. Plaque can lead to gum disease (gingivitis) and destroys gum tissue and teeth.

Pulp

Soft tissue inside all teeth where nerve tissue and blood vessels are. If caries reaches the pulp, pain is usually felt.

R

X-ray

An x-ray is a diagnostic imaging exam that uses X-radiation. It is fast and painless to perform. It is the first line exam in the evaluation of human anatomy and serves to assist the dentist in the diagnosis of various diseases, allowing to see the teeth and roots in the jaws.

In dentistry, it is called orthopantomography.

Restoration (Dental)

Repair of a decayed tooth to restore it to its normal function and shape. First, the dentist removes the deteriorated part of the tooth, cleans the affected area and then fills the cavities with filler.

S

Saliva

A substance in the mouth that aids digestion, protects teeth and prevents infections. It also helps with chewing and swallowing food.

Sensitivity

When hot, cold, sweet or acidic foods, drinks or air make the teeth sensitive to pain. Sensitivity is usually caused by dentin exposure due to receding gums or periodontal disease.

T

Tartar

Plaque that hardened on the teeth. It can form on the gum and under its line, damaging the teeth and gums.

V

Vitamins

Vitamins and minerals are essential for overall health, including teeth. Tooth enamel needs calcium to strengthen it - the stronger the enamel, the less likely it is to develop tooth decay.

Other vitamins, such as D, also help promote oral health.

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