Deciduous Teeth [primary, temporary, milk or baby teeth]
So-called because like the leaves on some trees they are eventually shed or exfoliated.
The deciduous teeth start shedding from the age of 5 years or so [slightly earlier in
girls] with the loss of the lower central incisors. The replacement process finishes
when the last deciduous molar is lost by about 12-13 years of age.
The calcified part of a tooth beneath the enamel which surrounds the pulp chamber
and root canals. It contains microscopic channels [tubules] that contain nerve fibres
that connect to the dental pulp. Dentine is the "living" part of the tooth. Dentine can
regenerate when it has been damaged but this is a very slow process.
The industry involved in the care and treatment of the tooth and its associated areas. It is currently undergoing considerable change. In the past, the NHS dominated the service. It suffered from underfunding and centralised controls. Now, the private [non- NHS] sector is growing rapidly, bringing with it new investment, better services and new technology.
A gap or space between two teeth. Most commonly used to describe a gap between the upper two central incisors when the lip attachment (fraenum) causes a separation of these teeth. The diastema can sometimes be as much as 2-3mm and surgery, together with orthodontic treatment, may be needed to correct it.
The letters are used as a dental index to indicate the dental health of a population (e.g.
D=decayed, M=missing and F=filled).
So for example a DMF index of 4.6 in 16 year olds will mean an average of 4.6 teeth
are either decayed, missing or filled per child.
A temporary filling material used to help relieve toothache. The material often contains Eugenol and Zinc Oxide which is inserted into the tooth as a paste and then gradually hardens over 24 hours or so. Eugenol(found in oil of cloves)has been used for generations to treat dental pain.
‘Dry Mouth’ [Xerostomia] is associated with a reduced output or absence of saliva, producing dryness of the mouth. Its effects can be reduced by using the following techniques: • Brush your teeth after every meal and before you go to bed • Drink plenty of water • Chew a sugar-free gum • Avoid sugary food and drink • Avoid using a mouthwash with an alcohol base
A dry socket is the most common complication following a dental extraction. The
socket becomes infected and will begin to become very painful. A bad taste and foul
smell will be present. It is important to return to your dentist for treatment without