Do You Know these Ten “Toothy” Terms?
“Brush Up” on the Glossary of Oral Health!

Taking Care of Your Smile On-The-Go

Some oral health terms are far more common among non-dental professionals than others! That said, let’s see how many of these following definitions you can say you’re familiar with!:

Caries: Another word for “cavities” – the common dental problem that results from the tooth decay process.

Periodontal disease: The technical term for “gum disease”. Our Burlington dentist suggests you don’t skip a day of flossing to avoid this! (And brush twice a day, too, of course).

Gingivitis: The earliest stage of gum (periodontal) disease (mentioned above), where symptoms include gums that bleed with flossing or brushing.

Periodontitis: The advanced stage of gum disease. Symptoms include gums pulling away from the teeth (receding), puffiness/tenderness, and tooth becoming loose due to lack of support from sufficient or healthy gum.

Plaque: A soft and sticky bacterial substance that forms on the teeth when they are not clean. Luckily, plaque is easily cleaned off with soft toothbrush bristles and a gentle brushing technique – just be sure to brush twice a day for two full minutes!

Halitosis: The technical term for “bad breath”. Have you been suffering from halitosis?

Enamel: The outermost (and extremely hard) layer of the tooth, otherwise referred to as the “crown”. Once our enamel is lost, it’s gone forever – so it’s important to preserve this protective layer by taking the right steps daily.

Dentin: The layer of the tooth that is beneath the surface enamel. It is softer than the enamel, and slightly yellow in colour. Once tooth decay reaches this layer of the tooth, a filling is in order!

Pulp: In innermost layer of the tooth containing all the nerves. Any tooth decay that reaches the tooth’s pulp is very painful, and requires a root canal procedure or extraction.

Xerostomia: The technical term for “dry mouth”; a problematic and uncomfortable condition that occurs when saliva production is decreased.