How good is your dental knowledge?
Check out these must-know dental terms and see how many you are familiar with!
This is the official term for grinding or clenching your teeth when you sleep. It's much more than just an annoying habit – bruxism can cause worn or loose teeth, jaw problems and headaches.
People who have a severe case of bruxism may need to wear a mouth guard at night to help protect their teeth.
You might know halitosis by its more common name – bad breath. This condition can be caused by poor oral hygiene, eating certain foods or smoking.
Taking proper care of your teeth with brushing and flossing is usually the best way to deal with halitosis, but if it doesn't go away on its own you can consult a dentist for advice.
Better known as gum disease, gingivitis involves gum inflammation. It is a common condition but should be taken seriously, as untreated gingivitis can lead to tooth loss. If you notice that your gums are swollen, irritated or bleeding frequently, you may have gingivitis and should ask your dentist about gum disease treatment.
A more severe form of gum disease, periodontitis is an infection that can damage gums and even the jawbone. It is caused by poor oral hygiene and symptoms include swollen, red and tender gums. As well as brushing and flossing, regular dental check ups can help prevent periodontitis.
A diastema is a gap between two teeth. Sometimes they can be considered a cosmetic issue and can be resolved with the use of cosmetic dentistry.
You've probably heard of plaque, the sticky film that coats teeth when bacteria mix with food in your mouth. Plaque can damage your enamel and cause cavities, but it is fairly easily removed with diligent brushing and flossing. A bigger problem is tartar, a hard substance that forms on your teeth when plaque hardens.
Also known as dental calculus, tartar can cause gum disease, receding gums and tooth decay. It needs to be professionally removed.