Explanations Of Some Dental Lingo!

added on: May 12, 2015

Occasionally, I catch myself talking to a patient and saying things like “…your periodontal health” when “condition of your gum tissue” is more likely to be understood. As a Dentist, I’ve used some dental terms and phrases so often I forget I can lose good connection with a patient by using sometimes-foreign terms.

I hope I’ve never discussed your oral health in unfamiliar terms. However, if I slip, never hesitate to ask questions so you fully understand everything about my explanations.

Some terms you may hear that aren’t always obvious as to what they are may be:

Anterior Teeth: Your six upper or six lower front teeth.
Bone Resorption: Loss of jaw bone that supports tooth roots.
Bruxing: Grinding or gnashing of teeth, typically while asleep.
Calculus: Hard residue that forms on teeth due to plaque buildup.
Mandible: The lower jaw.
Maxilla: The upper jaw.
Palate: Hard and soft tissue forming the roof of the mouth.
Plaque: A sticky substance composed of bacteria and food debris that accumulates on teeth.
Prophy: Cleaning of the teeth for the prevention of gum disease and tooth decay.
Scaling & Root Planning: Removing plaque and calculus from tooth surfaces above and below gum line.
Tartar: A common term for calculus, a hard deposit that adheres to teeth and can only be removed by dental tools.

Our entire team wants you to always be in-the-know when it comes to your dental well-being. I hope our conversations leave you fully informed so you are an active participant in keeping your smile at its best!