Basic Dental Knowledge

Ever hear all those dental words being thrown around and feel out of the loop? Here is a

guide to common dental terms that you may need to know.

Cuspid: Your teeth that come to a point (right next to your front teeth) are called

cuspids. Sometimes they are called canines as well. Teeth that come to two points are

called bicuspids.

Molar: Your back teeth behind your bicuspids.

Crown: The part of your tooth above the gum. (The visible part of your tooth.)

Root: The part of your tooth in your gums.

Enamel: The hard surface of your teeth that protects the root of your tooth.

Gingivae: Another name for your gums.

Pulp: the soft inner structure of your tooth housing nerves and blood vessels.

Antiseptic: A chemical that can be applied to your mouth to destroy germs.

Aspirator: A straw like vacuum the dentist uses to suck all the saliva from your mouth.

Caries: Another name for a cavity.

Fluoride: A chemical that hardens your teeth and prevents tooth decay.

Labial and Lingual: Anything having to do with your lips or tongue respectively.

Mandible: Your lower jaw

Tartar: Bacteria on your teeth than can lead to periodontal disease.

Plaque: A sticky film that can form on the surface of your teeth that can turn into tartar.


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