Definition: The V-shaped, or triangular, space between two teeth created by the sloping away of the mesial and distal surfaces.

Usage: Open gingival embrasures are common in adults who have undergone orthodontic treatment.

Definition: The hard, white, compact material that covers the outside of the crown of the tooth.
Usage: Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, forms the outermost layer of a tooth’s crown, and protects the underlying dentin.

Definition: Branch of dentistry concerned with the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp and their sequelae.
Usage: Endodontists primarily perform root canals.

Definition: The act of breaking out or appearing.
Usage: Impaction is an unerupted or partially erupted tooth that does not fully emerge because it is blocked by another tooth, bone, or soft tissue.

Lay term: Spit
Definition: Spit something out of your mouth.
Usage: Fluoride ingestion from toothpaste is reduced by rinsing or expectorating during toothbrushing.

Extrinsic Stain
Definition: Stain on the surface of the tooth which is removable.
Usage: Extrinsic stains can be caused by drinking coffee, tea, soda, and smoking.

Definition: The surface of the tooth nearest the lips and cheeks; pertaining to the face.
Usage: Probing the facial regions of the teeth is part of periodontal screening and recording.

Definition: A groove or trough in the enamel of the tooth that is most prominent on the occlusal (biting) surfaces of molars.
Usage: Pit and fissure caries are common in early childhood.

Alternate term: Fluoroapatite
Definition: A type of apatite crystal with a fluoride ion attached to the calcium phosphate molecule.
Usage: Fluorapatite forms a stronger crystalline lattice than hydroxyapatite, making teeth more resistant to decay.

Definition: Adjustment of the level of fluoride in a public water supply so that the community receives the maximum benefit without side effects.
Usage: Because water fluoridation has the advantages of equity, distribution, compliance, and cost-effectiveness over other fluoride-delivering methods, it remains the fundamental base for caries prevention in many communities.

Definition: A naturally occurring inorganic ion of fluorine which renders teeth less susceptible to dental decay that is most effective in children and younger adults. It is also used in older adults to prevent root caries.
Usage: Fluoride may be added to dentifrice, mouth rinses, and water supplies where it does not occur naturally, and applied topically by dentists.

Alternate term: Enamel hypoplasia
Lay term: Mottled teeth
Definition: Condition of the teeth that occurs when a person has ingested too much fluoride over a period of time giving the appearance of chalky white spots or as severe brown staining with pitting.
Usage: Fluorosis can only occur while teeth are still developing.