Where There Is No Dentist 2012 227
Gauze A material made of cotton, woven into
an open mesh.
Generic name The scientific name of a
medicine. Usually different from the brand
names given it by the different companies
that make it.
Germs Very small organisms that can grow
in the body and cause some infectious
Gram A metric unit of weight. There are
about 28 grams in an ounce. A paper clip
weighs about 1 gram.
Groove A long, narrow cut on the surface of
back teeth. Grooves are ‘protected areas’
because food and germs can hide and
remain in them longer.
Gum bubble Also called a gum boil. A small
abscess on the gums.
Gum disease Illness that causes gums to
become loose, red, and swollen, and to
bleed when the teeth are cleaned.
Gum pocket The space between the tooth
and the flap of gums around it, forming a
Gums The skin around the teeth.
Hemostat A needle holder, used for putting in
Herb A plant, especially one valued for its
medicinal or healing qualities.
History (Medical history) What you can learn
through asking questions about a person’s
sickness—how it began, when it gets better
or worse, what seems to help, whether
others in the village or family have it, etc.
Hydrogen peroxide A liquid used to clean
wounds and kill certain bacteria.
Hypertension High blood pressure.
Immunizations (vaccinations) Medicines that
give protection against specific diseases. For
example, there are immunizations against
diptheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, and
Incisors The four front teeth on the top and
Infection A sickness caused by bacteria or
other germs. Infections may affect part of
the body only (such as a sinus infection) or
all of it (such as measles).
Infectious disease A disease that is easily
passed from one person to another;
Inflammation An area that is red, hot, and
painful, often because it is infected.
Inject To give a medicine such as an
immunization or anesthetic, using a syringe.
Joint The place where two bones meet.
When this book talks about the ‘pain in
the joint’, it means the joint (called the
‘temporomandibular joint’) where the cheek
and jaw bones meet.
Kilogram (kg) One thousand grams. A ‘kilo’
weighs a little more than 2 pounds.
Labial Of the lips. The labial side of a tooth is
the face of the tooth nearest the lips.
Ligature wire A thin, strong wire that bends
easily, used to attach a loose tooth to a
Lingual Of the tongue. The lingual side of a
tooth is the face of the tooth nearest the
Malnutrition Health problems caused by not
eating enough of the foods that the body
Mandible The lower jaw bone.
Maxilla The upper jaw bone.
Mesial The side of the tooth that faces the
front of the mouth; the opposite of ‘distal’.
Milligram (mg) One thousandth of a gram.
Molar The back teeth, used for grinding.
Molars are the largest teeth in the mouth,
with 2 or even 3 roots each.