4 Important Terms that Help the Triangle Understand Dental Health

As with all specialized fields, dentistry has its own collection of terms that can be somewhat puzzling to patients. E. Scott Saltzman DMD is always encouraging patients to understand the dental information he and his staff provide during an appointment.  In fact, E. Scott Saltzman DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Cary makes communication a top priority. Saltzman Dentistry even offers a dental dictionary that defines unfamiliar terms. It is on our website.

It’s very important for patients to understand the following four dental terms as they assess their own dental health:  

  • Plaque: Everyone who eats food will develop plaque. It’s a mixture of bacteria and food debris that adheres to teeth and must be removed to prevent cavities. Brushing and flossing, twice a day or more, are effective ways to help remove plaque before the bacteria begins to damage the tooth surface.
  • Calculus: Sometimes called tartar, dental calculus develops when plaque remains undisturbed on teeth. Minerals from human saliva adhere to the plaque, creating a hard deposit. Brushing and flossing will not remove calculus, making regular professional cleanings necessary.
  • Gingivitis: “Gingiva” is the dental term for the gums. Gums create a tight seal around teeth and their roots. Bacteria can inflame the gums, causing gingivitis. Signs of gingivitis include inflamed or puffy gums or bleeding when brushing or flossing. Prompt treatment can help prevent serious periodontal disease.
  • Periodontal disease: A destructive condition, periodontal (gum) disease is inflammation of the tissues and bone that support the teeth. This condition can destroy bone, expose tooth roots, and loosen teeth. Dr. Saltzman offers effective treatments to halt the advance of periodontal disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly half of Americans over 30 have some form of gum disease. Symptoms can include bad breath, red gums, tenderness, bleeding, painful chewing, loose teeth, sensitivity, and receding gums.

Confused about dental terminology? Don’t hesitate to ask the expert, professional staff at E. Scott Saltzman DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for an explanation. If it’s been more than six months since your last appointment, call us today to schedule an exam. Staying healthy means regular dental exams. And healthy teeth mean beautiful smiles all around. 


This informative post about dental health and cosmetic treatments is brought to you by Saltzman Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Cary NC. Please call us for an appointment today.


919 380 9311


202 Town Village Drive

Cary, NC 27513

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The material contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice in any manner or form. Always consult a dentist, doctor or licensed medical professional with any questions.

Photo: Pixabay 674654 _ 640


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