Here is a list of 20 common dental terms that are associated with common dental procedures and conditions. Knowing and understanding these terms can contribute towards a greater understanding of your dental condition and your dental health.

Dental Glossary

Amalgam: A silver or mercury alloy that is used to fill cavities.
Bleaching: The cosmetic whitening of teeth using peroxide.
Bruxism: Teeth grinding.
Cavities: Tooth decay as the result of acids excreted by bacteria in plaque.
Carcinogenic: A condition that causes cancer.
Cariogenic: A condition that causes decay.
Composites: A tooth restorative material that is colored to the shade of your natural tooth.
Cusp: The pointed or rounded projection on or near the chewing surface of a tooth.
Endodontist: A dentist that treats conditions formed from oral disease or injury.
Gingivitis: The reversible inflammation of gum tissue caused by a buildup of bacteria.
Malocclusion: The misalignment of teeth and/or jaws.
Maxillofacial: Relating to the jaw and face .
Occlusal: Relating to the chewing surface of the tooth.
Orthodontics: A branch of dentistry that focuses on the correction and realignment of teeth.
Periodontics: A branch of dentistry that studies supporting structures of teeth and its diseases.
Plaque: A combination of bacteria, food debris and saliva that causes dental decay.
Prophylaxis: The professional cleaning of the teeth by a dentist or hygienist.
Resin: A type of plastic material used in restorative dentistry.
Root Canal: The space inside the root portion of a tooth that contains pulp tissue.
TMD: Temporomandibular disorder is the painful locking of the jaw.