Dental radiographs are images that help detect problems, when present, that the eyes cannot see. Dentists use x-rays to look for cavities, bone loss in periodontal disease, chronic infections, benign or malignant masses in the jaws, or hidden dental structures such as wisdom teeth.
Mouthwash is a liquid solution used to improve oral hygiene. Also called mouth rinse, oral rinse, or mouth bath, mouthwash is usually held in the mouth, and even used to gargle, for about half a minute before it is spat out. Most mouthwashes are antiseptic solutions, which means they can kill bacteria in dental plaque that are responsible for tooth decay (cavities), periodontal disease (gum disease), and halitosis (bad breath).
Bruxism (or teeth grinding) is an abnormality where the person involved grinds or clenches his or her teeth. Bruxism occurs in most people, but is often mild, or occasional, and does not affect someone's health. But when tooth grinding becomes more frequent or more severe, it may set off significant complications, leading to serious damage towards the jaws and teeth.
Gum disease is a serious infection that destroys the gums around teeth, as well as the supporting bone underneath. It usually begins with an initial phase called gingivitis, which is a superficial infection of the gums that can often be controlled with good oral hygiene. This condition can progress to a state called periodontitis where there is destruction of the alveolar bone, and it becomes more difficult to treat.
Dental abrasion is a condition characterized by the loss of tooth structure (enamel and dentin) due to mechanical forces generated by a hard-bristled toothbrush, an aggressive brushing or the use of toothpicks. The appearance of abrasion is commonly described as a V-shaped depression at the collar of a tooth, where the enamel meets the gum.
Tooth sensitivity is the pain that you may feel on one or many teeth. We mostly refer to the pain that is stimulated by eating hot or cold foods, drinking hot or cold drinks, consuming sweets, or even by breathing cold air from the mouth. When speaking of tooth sensitivity, we do not refer to the intense pain that might feel in the mouth due to caries, fractures or infections.
Research shows that chewing on gum, more precisely sugarless gum, during 20 minutes after a meal, can help reduce tooth decay. But chewing gum is not a substitute of brushing and flossing. When you have something in your mouth, your salivary glands are stimulated to produce saliva.
Orthognathic surgery, or corrective jaw surgery, is a procedure that corrects conditions of the jaws and the face. In orthodontics, orthognathic surgery is performed when the upper and lower jaws don't meet harmoniously to fit together. While orthodontics straightens teeth, corrective jaw surgery sections and re-aligns bones then holds them in place with screws and plates. In cases where orthognathic surgery is needed, the end result improves facial appearance and ensures that teeth function properly.
Permanent teeth (or adult teeth) come after the set of primary teeth and are normally intended to remain in the mouth for the whole lifetime. There are 32 adult teeth, including eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars and twelve molars (among which there are four wisdom teeth). The premolars replace primary molars, while the adult molars appear in a posterior position in the dental arch, not replacing any primary teeth.