Continuing our series of dental terminology explanations.
Last time, we took a look at some of the dental terminology that you may have heard at our Canterbury practice up to and including the letter ‘I’.
Today, patients of Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic can continue to learn more about some of these terms, starting with the letter ……..
J – Jawbone – Not a huge choice here and most of you will know what the jawbone is.There are separate terms for the upper and lower jaw which you may occasionally hear though. The upper part of the jaw is called the ‘maxilla’ and the lower part the ‘mandible’. Bone loss in the jaw following extraction or tooth loss can cause other teeth to move and may result in crooked teeth. Some patients may also suffer from jaw problems, often caused by teeth grinding. These are known as ‘occlusal’ problems.
K – Keratinised gingiva – Not one, perhaps, that you will hear too often but this refers to the thicker gum tissue around the neck of a tooth. Keratin itself is a protein that makes up the external layer of our skin as well as our hair and nails.
L – Local anaesthetic – Most of you will be familiar with this term and it is necessary to apply this before many dental treatments. To do so without would cause the treatment to be too painful to perform. It is applied via a fine needle into the gum around the tooth to be treated. Many people say that they dislike this as it hurts when it is given. In reality though, you are unlikely to feel much sensation as it enters the gum and any discomfort comes from the anaesthetic entering the bloodstream, a necessity to make the area numb so that the procedure can be carried out with minimum discomfort.
M – Molars – These are the teeth at the very rear of your mouth. They have a predominantly flat surface which allows you to chew your food. They are very strong but, being at the back of the mouth, are more difficult to keep clean. You should always try to clean at the back of these, including the use of floss.