Oral Care Glossary


Acute or chronic localised inflammation, probably with a collection of pus, associated with tissue destruction and, frequently, swelling; usually secondary to infection.


Referring to the bone to which a tooth is attached.


The tip or end of the root end of the tooth.


A premolar tooth; a tooth with two cusps.


Hard deposit of mineralised substance adhering to crowns and/or roots of teeth or prosthetic devices.


Commonly used term for tooth decay beginning.


Missing tooth structure. A cavity may be due to decay, erosion or abrasion. If caused by caries; also referred to as carious lesion.

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

A collection of symptoms characterised by transient acute pain experienced when chewing.


Single cusped tooth located between the incisors and bicuspids.


The lay term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure.

Dry Socket

Localised inflammation of the tooth socket following extraction due to infection or loss of blood clot.


Hard calcified tissue

Impacted Tooth

An un-erupted or partially erupted tooth that is positioned against another tooth, bone or soft tissue so that complete eruption is unlikely.


A tooth for cutting or gnawing; located in the front of the mouth in both jaws.


Improper alignment of biting or chewing surfaces of upper and lower teeth.


Teeth posterior to the premolars (bicuspids) on either side of the jaw; grinding teeth, having large crowns and broad chewing surfaces.

Plaque Build-up

Plaque is a sticky, colourless film of bacteria and sugars that constantly forms on our teeth. It is the main cause of cavities and gum disease and can harden into tartar if not removed daily.


Removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures. It is intended to control local irritating factors.


Appliance to stabilise teeth following orthodontic treatment.

Root Canal

Space inside the root portion of a tooth containing pulp tissue.


Removal of plaque, calculus and stain from teeth.


Plaque that has hardened on your teeth. Tartar gives plaque more surface area to grow on. Also, it’s more porous and therefore absorbs more stains. To avoid build-up, brush and floss daily.