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Know Your Teeth - Infobites - Oral Health Glossary -- Search By Keyword, Letter or Phrase - 1-877-2X-A-YEAR (1-877-292-9327)
Dental care and oral health information you need
from the Academy of General Dentistry

Monday, November 30, 2015
Know Your Teeth Academy of General Dentistry Know Your Teeth


Quick Reference

Halitosis (Bad Breath)

Do You Have Traveler's Breath?


Bad breath while traveling happens when the salivary glands slow down the production of saliva, which allows bacteria to grow inside the mouth and bad breath to develop.

Learn what those dental words mean.

Check out how your teeth and mouth change in every stage of life.



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Oral Health Glossary

Article Chapters
Oral Health Glossary
Oral Health Glossary
air abrasion: a method of tooth-structure removal considered to be an effective alternative to the standard dental drill


amalgam: a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper used to fill cavities


bleaching: cosmetic whitening of teeth


burning mouth syndrome: a condition characterized by a burning or scalding pain on the lips and tongue


bruxism: the unintentional grinding or clenching of teeth that may cause facial pain


canker sore: ulcers that occur inside the mouth and are often are triggered by trauma to the inner cheek or gum


caries: also known as cavities, tooth decay


cold sore: tiny, clear, fluid-filled blisters that form around the mouth and are caused by the herpes simplex virus


composite resin: a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth

cosmetic dentistry: aesthetic improvement of the color and shape of teeth


crown: a restoration that covers, or "caps," a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth


denture: a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues


dry mouth: a painful condition caused by a decrease in the amount of saliva in the mouth when salivary glands do not work properly


fluoride: a compound that makes the tooth more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay 


general dentist: a primary care provider for patients in all age groups who takes responsibility for the diagnosis, treatment, management and overall coordination of services to meet patients' oral health needs 


gingivitis: an early stage of gum tissue 


halitosis: chronic bad breath


mouthguard: an appliance used to protect teeth from injury 


orthodontics: a branch of dentistry dealing with the treatment of irregular bites


periodontal disease: inflammation and irritation of the gums, which if left untreated, can cause tooth loss


plaque: a sticky substance that forms on teeth and causes tooth decay


root canal: a procedure that repairs the damaged or dead pulp in the root canal of the tooth 


sealant: a plastic coating used to protect teeth from decay 


sleep apnea: a serious, potentially life-threatening sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing episodically during sleep due to an obstructed airway


temporomandibular disorder: problems relating to the temporomandibular joint, including locking of the jaw, frequent headaches, sore jaw muscles and painful clicking of the jaw


wisdom teeth: the third molars, which typically erupt during the teenage years


veneer: ultra-thin shells of ceramic (porcelain) or a composite resin material, which are bonded to the front of teeth to improve the smile
Reviewed: January 2012