Periodontology 101- At a Glance Definitions

Tooth: This is a small, whitish structure that is found in the oral cavity.  The tooth is the hardest structure in the human body and is used to breakdown food and for speech.

Gums:  Gums are pinkish in color and are found inside of the mouth and cover the top of the teeth.  They protect the teeth and tightly hold them in place.

Anatomy: Anatomy has roots from both the biological and medicinal fields and is the study of all living things.  Typically this term generally refers to animal, plant and human studies.

Nerves:  Nerves are corridors for signals to be transmitted from one part of the body to another.  They are generally found in bunches of axons in the nervous system.

Periodontist:  A periodontist is a certified DDS (dentist) who has  3-4 additional more years of education, specializing in tooth and gum conditions and diseases.

Implants: Implants are used to replace a missing tooth or teeth.  They are typically made out of metal and resemble a tooth root to support a new tooth structure.

Periodontal Scaling: This procedure uses a scaler, (dental instrument) to remove tartar buildup from above the gum-line of the tooth.

Root Planing: This is a deep cleaning procedure that uses scaling to remove calcium and other bacterial build-ups from the teeth.

Dental Bone Grafting: This is a surgical procedure to repair and replace missing bone, using either the patient’s own bone from another area of the body or a synthetic material.

Sinus Lift:  This is a surgical procedure to augment the bone in a person’s upper jaw.

Next, learn about gum disease.