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May 29th, 2019

Dental Terms and Treatments 101 - Part 4

Heading to the dentist, you wonder, what does all that unfamiliar dental jargon mean? Maybe you should have asked the hygienist. Maybe you should have done some research to better understand what is happening with your oral health.

While your dentist can help you grasp the treatments you may be getting, being knowledgeable about dental terms further benefits your situation. Below are some dental terms and treatments you may hear at your next dentist appointment.

Stomatitis

Inflammation of your lips and mouth that might include a sore. Mouth sores are often painful but you can get relief from your dentist. Stomatitis can occur due to a variety of things including allergies to certain foods, poor dental hygiene, sharp objects and sometimes stress. Visit your dentist for a check-up if you suspect a problem. Your dentist can provide remedies for these common situations.

Tooth Bounded Space

Have you lost your tooth and now have a gap in between two teeth? You have a tooth bounded space. Your dentist may suggest a false tooth be placed in this space so that you can have an aesthetically pleasing smile. Let your dentist help you bring back your confidence with options to fill in the gap.

Unilateral

Do you have a dental issue on one side of your mouth? This is a unilateral concern that can be treated at the dentist’s office. Loosely translated, uni, means one, and lateral means to the side. Regardless of which side the dental problem occurs, your dentist will have varying options to help you out.

Vestibuloplasty

Your alveolar ridge height might need to be restored. Vestibuloplasty is any series of surgeries for this restoration. What exactly is the alveolar ridge? The small protuberance behind your upper front teeth. Your dentist may recommend vestibuloplasty to accommodate new dentures or appliances required inside your mouth.

Wax Pattern

Have you ever had to bite into some dental wax? This might be because your dentist required a formation replica of your teeth and gums. A wax pattern can be used when your dentist needs to manufacture crowns or a metal device such as a retainer. Dentists use wax patterns regularly to get an accurate mold of your teeth.

Xerostomia

You may have xerostomia. What does this mean?
Xerostomia is also known as dry mouth syndrome, a condition that causes you to have less salivary secretion than necessary. It can produce a dry burning sensation in your mouth. Your dentist will perform an intraoral exam to determine why you have dry mouth. You may be referred to a specialist of salivary gland disorders.

Oral Yeast Infection

Often referred to as oral thrush, yeast is a tiny fungus that can infect your oral system causing a burning or itchy throat or mouth. If your throat is infected, you might even have a hard time swallowing. This occurrence can happen in infants and adults and is characterized by a white cottage cheese type substance in the mouth. Ask your dentist which medication is right to combat this type of infection.

Zygomatic Bone

Also known as cheek or malar bone, a zygomatic bone is a bone that forms your cheek structure. It is important you treat this bone with respect by avoiding extremely crunchy or hard foods in your diet. If you injure your zygomatic bone from crunching too hard, you could need dental surgery.

Do you feel more relaxed for your next dental appointment now that you have a better understanding of a few more dental terms? Brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist should help you avoid visiting the dentist for a vast array of these dental issues.

Now that you have been on this dental terminology journey, let your dentist help you take care of your teeth, so the only terms you need to know are regular check-up and dental cleaning!

Dr. Gurshant

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grewal - a Registered Dentist on May 29th, 2019

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