of pus in a cavity formed by the breakdown
of tissue cells.
||A type of illness
or injury that has a rapid onset and ordinarily
lasts less than 3 months. (Pregnancy is also
considered to be an "acute condition"
despite lasting longer than 3 months).
||A more holistic approach to healing which includes taking responsibility for your own body’s health, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
||Those organisms that cannot live easily in the presence of oxygen.
||Commonly called (tongue-tie). It is usually a hereditary congenital defect where the frenum, the thin web-like connection under the tongue, is very short or is attached close to the tip of the tongue. This can limit the movement of the tongue, interfering with speech, and in an infant, make breastfeeding difficult.
||Drugs used to combat both minor and life-threatening bacterial infections. Most effective in acute planktonic infections. Less effective in chronic (biofilm) infections.
|AVOID GUM SURGERY
||Implementing a disciplined and efficient daily self-care program of good oral hygiene is necessary for those who want to prevent problems and crucial for those who have already been told they need gum surgery. With the proper oral hygiene techniques (effectively removing the bacterial biofilms in the mouth), maintaining a good diet, and supporting a healthy immune system, one can avoid having surgery to remove swollen, infected gum tissues for the purpose of arresting a periodontal infection. This is certainly a kinder, more natural, and more holistic approach. With the absence of infection, the body can heal itself.
||Also called premolars,
these are the two teeth behind the cuspids
or eyeteeth. There are a total of 8.
A sophisticated collection of germ life. Thought to have its own “intelligence,” a biofilm lives in a defensive slime environment that protects it against the immune system and makes healing difficult. Biofilms are found everywhere in nature that a solid surface comes in contact with water. A biofilm infection is generally antibiotic resistant and lives in chronic, long-standing wounds, such as advanced periodontal infections.
Diseases caused by highly organized collections of bacterial slime (biofilms) that impede the body’s natural defense mechanisms and make it difficult to heal.
According to the National Center for Health
Statistics, is defined as the first weight
of the newborn obtained after birth.
Low birth weight is defined as less than
2,500 grams or 5 pounds 8 ounces.
Very low birth weight is defined as less
than 1,500 grams or 3 pounds 4 ounces.
Hard, calcified dental plaque. It is the
mineralized remains of dead bacteria attached
to surfaces of the teeth. Also called "tartar."
There are two types of calculus: that which
forms above the gingival margins, called
supragingival calculus, and that which forms
on roots below the gingival margins, called
|CANINES, CANINE TEETH, or
|| An area of decay
on a tooth.
|| Ultrasonic dental
tool that uses high frequency sound waves
to remove hard deposits from the teeth.
||Hard tissue that
covers the roots of teeth. Teeth are held
in place by connective tissue fibers, the
periodontal ligament that attaches the cementum
to the bony sockets in the jaws.
||To record the depth of the gingival (gum) pockets and the pathology in the mouth (decay, missing or impacted teeth, etc.).
||An anti-microbial agent effective in controlling gum diseases.
||Of or relating to the gingival crevice.
||Removal of infection (biofilm) from a wound.
|| Tooth decay.
|DENTAL HYGIENIST (RDH)
A dental professional who is trained, licensed, and registered to perform certain duties. Each state has its own regulations and standards but many allow the RDH to do the following:
- Screen patients, take medical histories and do dental charting
- Examine patients (head, neck, and mouth) for disease
- Take x-rays and interpret them
- Apply dental sealants and fluoride
- Remove hard and soft deposits from teeth, above and below the gum line
- Provide education and counseling in the prevention of dental disease
- Counsel on nutrition and smoking cessation as well as whole body health
- Administer local anesthetics and nitrous oxide sedation
used in the cleaning of the teeth.
||Hard, living inner layer of a tooth just below the enamel layer.
||A person who is trained and licensed in oral care (care of the mouth). The dentist's domain is the treatment of diseases of the teeth, gums, and related structures of the mouth.
||A space or gap between two teeth, most frequently found between the upper central incisors (upper front teeth).
||The surface that
faces toward the back, away from the midline
of the jaw.
|Occurs when the
salivary glands in your mouth don't produce
enough moisture, disrupting the balance of
normal microorganisms in your mouth. This
dryness increases your risk of oral thrush
(yeast), dental caries, and periodontal infections.
|The hardest substance
of the body, the covering of the crown of
the tooth, located above the gum line.
||The four canines or cuspids.
||Pertaining to the
face. The outer side of a tooth, that side
facing the face
||Surgery that involves the loosening of gums from bone to expose and debride the periodontal pocket as well as the underlying tooth structures.
||Also called frenulum. A chord-like membrane of tissue that connects the floor of the mouth to the tongue. In the mouth, there are two primary locations where frenum are found: under the tongue, called the lingual frenum; and underneath the center of the upper lip, called the labial frenum. If the lingual frenum is very short, it limits tongue movement and can make speech difficult. Under the upper lip, it can cause gum recession and cause a space between the front teeth (called a diastema).
Approximately 3 percent to 5 percent of
pregnant women in the United States develop
gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes
mellitus, usually beginning in the second
or third trimester of pregnancy.
Like other forms of diabetes, it affects
the way your body uses blood sugar (glucose).
In many cases, it goes away after pregnancy,
but more than 50% of women who experience
this condition later develop a permanent
form of diabetes — type 2 (formerly called
adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent) diabetes.
|| The anatomical
word for the gums.
||The adjective pertaining
to the gums.
||Surgery to remove
||The initial stage of gum disease that is caused by pathogenic bacteria that reside in the gingival crevices (under the gums). This initial stage of gingival disease may progress into destructive periodontitis. The gums usually become red, swollen, bleed easily, and are often tender to touch.
|| Infections of the gingivae (gums) which include gingivitis — the acute, early stage of inflammation which is characterized by sore bleeding gums — and more advanced stages of periodontitis, with its graduating severity (measured by gingival pockets and bone loss).
|| See “receding gums”
|| A dental procedure involving excision of the gums with instruments or lasers, performed to repair damage or arrest disease. Often these surgeries are recommended for periodontal (biofilm) infections; however, I believe patients should be offered an alternative treatment solution that avoids gum surgery. Often very successful is a more holistic, non-surgical option for treating gum disease, in which patients are taught how to take control of their own mouths and improve their condition with meticulous and disciplined oral hygiene as well as scaling, wound debridement, and irrigation.
|| Also called gingivae. Those soft tissues, covered by mucous membrane, surround and support the teeth. They are generally a light pink in color when they are healthy.
|HOLISTIC GUM TREATMENT
|| A kinder, less invasive way to treat gum disease without resorting to gum surgery. Holistic gum treatment can enable you to avoid gum surgery.
||Four upper and
four lower front teeth, the central and lateral
incisors (excludes the canine teeth).
Artificial device usually made from titanium, surgically placed in the jaw to substitute for a natural tooth root. Prosthetic teeth and bridges are attached to the part of the implant that protrudes through the gum.
An implant functions like a natural tooth and needs to have the same care or will be lost through the same process of infection, called peri-implantitis rather than periodontitis.
Using an electrical device or shower irrigator to force pulsating jets of warm water in a slim stream into the spaces between the teeth and gums for the purpose of disorganizing and dispersing harmful bacterial plaques.
||Washing out or
cleansing with water.
||Pertaining to the tongue. That side of a tooth that faces the tongue.
|LOW BIRTH WEIGHT
||See “birth weight”
|MAINTENANCE THERAPY or
||An ongoing program,
designed to supplement the anti-infective
self-care that patients use at home. This
treatment, usually every 3-4 months, includes
the professional examination of teeth and
periodontal tissues for evidence of disease
activity. Teeth are then scaled and polished,
and pockets are irrigated with an antiseptic
between the upper and lower teeth, causing
your teeth to align incorrectly
||Sheila Wolf's pseudonym. Sheila Wolf is a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), who is dedicated to altering oral health through educating and empowering her patients to take control of and responsibility for their own mouths. Her message is found throughout this website. » More about Mama Gums
||The lower jaw.
||The upper jaw.
||The surface (of
the tooth) that faces closer to the front
or to the midline of the jaw.
||Pertaining to microorganisms
and their effects on other living organisms.
||The three back
teeth in each quarter of the mouth, including
the wisdom teeth.
||The overall queasiness, nausea, or vomiting that many pregnant women experience during the first 12 to 14 weeks of their pregnancy.
||Any bacterial infection of the teeth, gums, bone, and surrounding soft and hard tissues of the mouth and jaw.
||The surface of
the tooth that is used for chewing.
|| How the upper
and lower teeth come together.
||The process of
maintaining the cleanliness of the mouth.
||See “Mouth Infection”
||A dental professional who is trained to correct a wide variety of diseases, defects, and injuries in the head and neck, face and jaws, and the hard and soft tissues of the mouth and face. Oral Surgery is one of the nine specialties of dentistry.
and assimilation of the bone to a dental implant.
This process takes from three to six months
after the implant has been placed in the mouth.
||Related to the
hard or soft palate.
||The cone shaped
portion of gum tissue between the teeth
replacing some of the teeth often lost through
||The fibers of tissue
that attach the teeth to the bone. When these
ligaments are destroyed by advanced cases
of periodontal disease, the teeth become loose.
||A separation of
the gum tissues surrounding the tooth forming
a space or pocket. The pocket fills with plaque
and infection. If not treated, the bone and
connective tissue surrounding the tooth may
become so severely damaged that the tooth
will fall out or need to be extracted.
rapidly advancing destructive periodontitis,
and chronic destructive periodontitis.
A dental professional who specializes in treating gum infections. Extensively trained in surgery, periodontists most often recommend surgery to treat these infections; however, I believe many patients can avoid gum surgery with meticulous and disciplined oral hygiene as well as scaling, wound debridement, and irrigation.
DISEASE, PERIODONTAL INFECTIONS, DESTRUCTIVE
Infections caused by invasive biofilm bacteria that colonize root surfaces and the periodontal tissues that surround them. Various types of periodontal disease affect 80% or more of the American adult population. Untreated, destructive periodontitis will progress until the body, trying to protect itself, will cause the teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.
||The tissues that
surround and support the teeth, including
the gums, periodontal ligament and bone.
|PINK IN THE SINK
|| An indicator of a possible gum infection. If you spit out blood during toothbrushing, that is NOT considered normal. It is a sign that something is wrong in your mouth. Not only could it mean you have gingivitis, but if this condition advances, it could lead to serious medical issues. The good news is that with effective oral hygiene and daily maintenance, this mild gingivitis is entirely reversible.
||Free-floating microscopic organisms not attached to a surface. They are differentiated from the aggregate biofilm bacteria. Treating these bacterial infections with antibiotics is often successful.
|PLAQUE or DENTAL PLAQUE or BACTERIAL PLAQUE
||Also called bacterial
biofilms. These soft, yellowish-white, “cheese-like” deposits contain microscopic organisms that colonize in large communities on tooth surfaces above and below the gum margins. If plaque is not removed carefully
each day by brushing, irrigating, and interproximal (in-between) cleaning and disinfection, bacteria attached to tooth surfaces die and harden from the minerals in the saliva and crevicular exudates. These mineralized deposits
are called calculus or tartar.
||An extraordinary chain of events that begins with the union of egg and sperm and the preparation of the body to provide the nourishment and hormones that govern the baby's growth and development
||An acute, often-reversible inflammation of the gums during pregnancy where a woman’s gum tissues become swollen, tender, and bleed easily due to the ineffective removal of bacterial plaque around the teeth and gums. Exacerbated by the increase in hormones in preparation for childbirth, this condition can be avoided or controlled by excellent oral hygiene.
||A large lump or overgrowth of gum tissue that is not cancerous, generally is not painful, and usually disappears or diminishes after pregnancy. If the tumor persists, it may require removal by a periodontist or oral surgeon.
||A baby born before 40 weeks in the mother’s uterus.
|PREVENT GUM DISEASE
||Doing what is necessary to avoid infections around your teeth and gums by taking good care of yourself. This includes supporting your immune system as well as preventing the accumulation of bacterial plaque around your teeth and gums by mechanical and chemical means.
||The surfaces nearest
to or next to.
||Another name for
Also called gum recession. Exposure of the roots of the teeth caused by a loss of gum tissue or a pulling away of the gums from the crowns of the teeth. Symptoms can include:
- Sensitive teeth (sensitivity from hot, cold, sweet, sour, or spicy foods)
- Teeth that may appear longer than normal
- Change in the tooth’s color (differences between color of enamel and cementum)
- Cavities below the gum line.
|REGISTERED DENTAL HYGIENIST (RDH)
||See “dental hygienist”
||The below the gum
part of tooth that anchors the tooth to the
|ROOT SCALING and PLANING
procedure where the hygienist, dentist, or
periodontist removes soft bacterial plaques and their calcified remains (calculus) from
tooth surfaces and periodontal pockets.
||Removal of hardened deposits of tartar and stain on the teeth, above and below the gum line.
(as related to the mouth)
|The casting off
of the outside layer of skin or gum tissue.
|SORE BLEEDING GUMS
||The result (in the gums) of a bacterial infection, injury, or trauma, of the soft tissues of the mouth surrounding the teeth.
|SPECIFIC PLAQUE HYPOTHESIS
||An assertion by Dr. Walter Loesche that specific bacteria cause gum infections. Among the culprits
gingivalis, Bacteroides forsythus,
and Treponema denticola.
||Above the gum line.
||Below the gum line.
||Inflammation of the gingivae (gums) due to a collection of additional fluids in the gum tissues. Condition is often characterized by puffy, red, tender, and bleeding gums. See also “Sore Bleeding Gums”
||A synonym for calculus.
||The joint that
links the two jaws, the maxilla and the mandible.
||A pleasant tasting,
non-staining, anti-infective medication that
can be used as a rinse or, when mixed with
water, as an irrigating solution.
||A benign outgrowth
of bone that usually develops on the roof
of the mouth or under the tongue, on the lower
||Plural for torus.
||The little dangling
structure in the back of your throat.
causes the narrowing of blood vessels so that
less blood is able to flow through at a time.
X Y Z
|XYLITOL CHEWING GUM
|A gum containing a natural sweetener made from the bark of birch trees. Recent studies show that xylitol gum helps to reduce the levels of Streptococcus Mutans, the bacteria responsible for dental caries. Xylitol is also used in treatment of biofilm wounds.