226 Where There Is No Dentist 2012
Cancer A tumor or lump that grows and may
keep growing until it causes death.
Canine teeth Also called cuspids, dog teeth,
and eye teeth. These teeth have the longest
roots of any tooth.
Carbohydrates Starches and sugars—foods
that give energy. In this book they are
called GO foods.
Caries Cavities; tooth decay.
Cavity A hole in a tooth where bacteria have
Cement filling A temporary filling, which
may protect a tooth for up to 6 months. Also
Cementum The outer covering of the tooth’s
Chronic Long-term or frequently recurring
(compare with ‘acute’). A chronic disease is
one that lasts for a long time.
Colony Germs grouped together in one
Contagious disease A sickness that can be
spread easily from one person to another.
Contraindication A situation or condition
when a particular medicine should not
be taken, or a certain treatment not
given. For example, many medicines are
contraindicated during pregnancy.
Crown The top 1/3 of the tooth, the part that
is protected with hard enamel.
Curette A scaling instrument.
Cuspids Canine teeth.
Cyst An abnormal, sac-like growth in the
body which is often filled with water.
Decay See Tooth Decay.
Dentition A whole set of teeth.
Dental floss See Floss.
Dental worker A health worker who works
for healthy teeth and gums.
Dentist A professional who has advanced
formal education in care of teeth and gums.
Dentures False teeth.
Diagnosis A decision made by a health
worker about what a person’s illness is.
Diet The kinds and amounts of foods that a
person should eat or avoid eating.
Dislocation A bone that has slipped out of
place at a joint.
Distal The side of the tooth that faces the
back of the mouth. The opposite side from
the ‘mesial’ side.
Drill An instrument used to change the
shape of a cavity before placing a filling.
Duct A tube that carries liquid. For
example, ducts carry spit from the spit
gland to the mouth.
Elevator An instrument used to loosen a tooth
before you take it out.
Enamel The protective layer that covers the
crown (top part) of a tooth. The enamel is
the hardest part of the body.
Epulis A tumor of the gums, usually found
between the teeth.
Eruption The moment when a new tooth cuts
through the gums and becomes visible in
Evaluation A study to find out the value of
something, or to find out what has been
accomplished. Evaluations often compare
different conditions before and after a new
Examination A careful look at something; an
Expiration date The month and year
marked on a medicine that tells when it
will no longer be good. Throw away most
medicines after this date.
Explorer See Probe.
Extraction Taking out a tooth.
False tooth A ‘tooth’ made of plastic or other
material, used to replace a tooth that has
been taken out.
Fever A body temperature higher than
Fiber A fine, threadlike piece. A fibrous food
like coconut contains a lot of fiber.
Filling Material put into the cavity in a tooth
to prevent further decay.
First aid Emergency care or treatment for
someone who is sick or injured.
Floss Special string used to clean between
Fluoride A chemical which strengthens the
teeth. Painted on the teeth, as an ingredient
in toothpaste, or added to water for drinking
or rinsing, fluoride enters and hardens the
enamel. It is especially good for children’s
Forceps Instruments used to pull teeth.
Fracture A broken bone.