AmalgamMaterial made from mercury and other alloy mixtures used to restore a drilled portion of a tooth.
AnesthesiaMedications used to relieve pain.
Anterior teethFront teeth. Also called incisors and cuspids.
ArchThe upper or lower jaw.
Baby bottle tooth decayCaused by sugary substances in breast milk and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby's mouth.
BicuspidsBack teeth used for chewing.
BitewingsX-rays that help a dentist diagnose cavities.
BondingApplication of tooth-colored resin materials to the surface of the teeth.
BridgeA fixed or removable appliance that replaces lost teeth.
CalculusA sticky substance (also called tartar) that has hardened.
CanalThe narrow chamber inside the tooth's root.
CaninesAlso called cuspids.
Canker soreOne that occurs on the delicate tissues inside your mouth. A canker sore is usually light-colored at its base and can have a red exterior border.
CariesAnother term for decay, which causes cavities.
Cold soreUsually occurs on the outside of the mouth, usually on or near the nose or lips. A cold sore is contagious because it is caused by the herpes simplex virus, and it is usually painful and filled with fluid.
Composite fillingTooth colored restorations, also known as resin fillings.
Composite resinA tooth-colored resin combined with silica or porcelain and used as a restoration material.
ContouringThe process of reshaping teeth.
CrownAn artificial cover that is placed on the top of a tooth following restoration.
CuspsThe pointed parts on top of the back teeth's chewing surface.
CuspidsFront teeth that typically have a protruding edge.
DentinThe tooth layer underneath the enamel.
DentureA removable set of teeth.
EndodonticsA form of dentistry that addresses problems affecting the tooth's root or nerve.
FluorideA naturally occurring substance added to water, toothpastes and some rinses and used for strengthening the tooth's enamel.
FluorosisA harmless over-exposure to fluoride and resulting sometimes in tooth discoloration.
GingivaAnother word for gum tissue.
GingivitisA minor disease of the gums caused by plaque.
Gum diseaseAn infection of the gum tissues. Also called periodontal disease.
Impacted teethA condition in which a tooth fails to erupt or only partially erupts.
ImplantA permanent appliance used to replace a missing tooth.
IncisorFront teeth with cutting edges; located in the center or on the sides near the front.
InlayAn artificial filling made of various materials, including porcelain, resin, or gold.
Laminate veneerA shell that is bonded to the enamel of a front tooth. The shell is usually thin and made from porcelain resin.
MalocclusionBad bite relationship.
MandibleThe lower jaw.
MaxillaThe upper jaw.
MolarUsually the largest teeth, near the rear of the mouth. Molars have large chewing surfaces.
Neuromuscular Dentistryare more than the aches and pains felt in around the neck and head that are associated with your teeth and jaw.
OnlayA filling designed to protect the chewing surface of a tooth.
OrthodonticsA field of dentistry that deals with tooth and jaw alignment.
OverdentureA non-fixed dental appliance applied to a small number of natural teeth or implants.
PalateRoof of the mouth.
Partial dentureA removable appliance that replaces teeth. Also called a bridge.
PedodonticsA field of dentistry that deals with children's teeth.
Perio pocketAn opening formed by receding gums.
Periodontal diseaseInfection of the gum tissues. Also called gum disease.
PeriodontistA dentist who treats diseases of the gums.
Permanent teethThe teeth that erupt after primary teeth. Also called adult teeth.
PlaqueA sticky, colorless substance that covers the teeth after sleep or periods between brushing.
Posterior teethThe bicuspids and molars. Also called the back teeth.
Primary teethA person's first set of teeth. Also called baby teeth or temporary teeth.
ProphylaxisThe act of cleaning the teeth.
ProsthodonticsThe field of dentistry that deals with artificial dental appliances.
PulpThe inner tissues of the tooth containing blood, nerves and connective tissue.
Receding gumA condition in which the gums separate from the tooth, allowing bacteria and other substances to attack the tooth's enamel and surrounding bone.
Resin fillingAn artificial filling used to restore teeth. Also called a composite filling.
Root canalA procedure in which a tooth's nerve is removed and an inner canal cleansed and later filled.
Root planingScraping or cleansing of teeth to remove heavy buildup of tartar below the gum line.
SealantA synthetic material placed on the tooth's surface that protects the enamel and chewing surfaces.
TMJTemporomandibular joint disorder. Health problems related to the jaw joint just in front of the ear.
TarterA hardened substance (also called calculus) that sticks to the tooth's surface.
VeneerA laminate applied or bonded to the tooth.