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Common Dental Terminology

Abscess
An abscess of the tooth is an infection. Symptoms can include pus and swelling of the soft gum tissues surrounding the tooth. An abscess can develop from tooth decay or tooth trauma, such as a broken tooth. An opening in the enamel of a tooth from a cavity or a fissure allows bacteria to get in and infect the pulp (center) of the tooth and cause an abscess. Once an abscess happens, it can cause severe facial swelling and spread to other parts of the body. Endodontics (root canal therapy) is usually the option to save a tooth once it has become infected. If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, make an appointment to see one of our qualified dentists right away.

Bleaching
A cosmetic dental procedure in which natural teeth are whitened with a bleaching agent, in our case Zoom!.

Bridge
A dental prosthesis that is fixed and cemented (non-removable) onto adjacent teeth to replace one or more missing teeth.

Crown
Custom-made covering that fits over the stump of a tooth after the dentist has prepared it. A crown can be made out of porcelain bonded to metal or porcelain bonded to zirconium . . . etc.

Filling
Synthetic material such as composite that is used to replace an area of the tooth where decay has been removed and a cavity remains.

Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, which can be treated and reversed if diagnosed early. The signs and symptoms are red, swollen and puffy gums that bleed easily. If treatment is not received, gingivitis could progress into periodontitis, an advanced and more serious stage of gum disease which includes bone loss and is not reversible.

Plaque
Plaque is the soft and sticky substance, made from bacteria, that accumulates on the teeth. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing thoroughly. If plaque is not removed, it becomes calcified and can lead to gum disease and cause further cavities. Regular dental check ups, brushing twice a day, flossing daily, antibacterial mouthwashes and eating nutritional foods will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth.