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Alveolar bone: the bone surrounding the roots of the teeth.

Alveolar process: the curving part of the jaw that holds teeth.

Alveolus: an opening in the alveolar into which the tooth's root fits.

Ankylosis: a condition where two hard tissues (e.g. a tooth and the alveolar bone) are fused together.

Bicuspid: a tooth that has two cusps.

Bruxism: frequent grinding or clenching of the teeth, typically during sleep.

Caries: another term for tooth decay or cavities.

Cavity: a hole in the tooth that is caused by tooth decay.

Cementum: hard tissue that covers the tooth root.

Cleft lip: a birth defect resulting in a gap in the skin of the upper lip.

Cleft palate: a congenital deformity resulting in a split or opening in the roof of the mouth.

Clenching: the grinding of teeth, often because of stress or physical effort.

Cusp: the pointed portion of the tooth.

Cyst: an abnormal sac containing fluid or soft matter.

Decay: destruction of tooth structure due to bacteria-producing toxins.

Dentin: the part of the tooth immediately under the surface enamel.

Dry mouth: decrease in the production of saliva (a.k.a. xerostomia).

Dry socket: inflammation of the tooth socket after extraction due to infection or the failure of a blood clot to form.

Enamel: hard, mineralized material that covers the dentin.

Erosion: chemical-induced wearing down of tooth structure.

Fracture: the breaking of a tooth.

Gingiva: soft, pink tissue surrounding the base of the teeth.

Gingival hyperplasia: an overgrowth of gingival tissues.

Gingivitis: the early, milder form of gum disease that may cause gums to become red, swollen and prone to bleeding.

Impacted tooth: an unerupted or partially erupted tooth whose pathway to complete eruption is blocked.

Interproximal: between adjacent teeth.

Intraoral: inside the mouth.

Labial: pertaining to or nearby the lip.

Lesion: area of diseased tissue.

Lingual: pertaining to or nearby the tongue.

Malocclusion: improper alignment of the teeth or jaws.

Maxilla: the upper jaw.

Molars: the three back teeth on either side of the jaw used for grinding food.

Mouthguard: a device that inserted into the mouth to protect against injury, treattemporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders or prevent tooth grinding.

Occlusal: related to the chewing or grinding surface of bicuspids or molars.

Palate: tissue forming the roof of the mouth.

Plaque: the sticky, bacteria-laden substance constantly building up on teeth.

Pulp: soft, spongy tissue that is located in the center of the tooth and contains blood vessels and nerves.

Pulp cavity: the portion of the tooth that contains the pulp.

Root: the portion of the tooth that connects the tooth to the jaw.

Root canal: the portion of the pulp cavity that contains pulp tissue.

Splint: a device that inserted into the mouth to treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Stomatitis: inflammation of the mucous membrane of the mouth.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ): the hinge mechanism connecting the base of the skull and lower jaw.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder: abnormal functioning of the TMJ; may cause facial pain and compromise the ability to open or move the jaw.

Xerostomia: decrease in the production of saliva (a.k.a. dry mouth).