Spatula An instrument used for mixing cement
Starches Energy foods like maize, rice, wheat,
cassava, potatoes, and squash.
Sterile Completely clean and free from living
micro-organisms. Things usually are not
sterile until you boil them or steam them.
Sterilize To make things sterile by boiling or
steaming for 30 minutes.
Sugars Sweet foods like honey, sugar, or fruit
that give energy but often cause tooth and
Survey A collection of facts about a small
group of persons or things in the community.
If the small group is not unusual, the survey
results will describe the whole community.
Suture A stitch made with needle and thread
to sew up an opening or wound.
Swelling An area of the skin that is abnormally
large, puffed up. A swollen area is one that
Symptoms The feelings or conditions that
sick persons report about their sickness.
ln this book, symptoms are included with
Syringe An instrument with a small sharp
needle, for giving injections.
Tablespoon A measuring spoon that holds 3
teaspoons or 15 ml.
Tartar A hard, rocky coating on the tooth near
the gums, also called calculus or toothstone.
Tartar forms when old plaque mixes with
calcium in the spit.
Teaspoon A measuring spoon that holds 5 ml.
Three teaspoons equal one tablespoon.
Teething The action of new teeth cutting
through the gums. Also see Eruption.
Temperature The degree of heat of something,
such as the air or a person’s body.
Temporary filling A filling meant only to last
until a permanent filling can be placed.
T.M.J. The temporomandibular joint. See
Tooth abscess See Abscess.
Tooth decay Damage to the tooth caused by
Toothache Pain in a tooth.
Toothpaste A paste for cleaning teeth.
Tongue depressor A tongue blade; a piece
of wood used to keep the tongue out of the
way when examining or treating the teeth.
Where There Is No Dentist 2012 229
Top of the tooth The part of the tooth that
bites on food. For both upper and lower
teeth, the biting surface is the ‘top’ and the
root is at the ‘bottom’.
Topical On top of the skin. A topical
medicine is put on the skin.
Traditions Practices, beliefs, or customs
handed down from one generation to
another by example or word of mouth.
Treatment Care given by a health worker
to fight an illness, attend to an injury, or
prevent a new problem.
Tropical Having to do with the tropics—the
hot regions of the world.
Tumor An abnormal mass of tissue without
inflammation. Some tumors are due to
Tweezer Small metal instrument for picking
up cotton or small objects. Some persons
use the word forceps for tweezers, but in
this book, forceps are instruments for taking
out a tooth.
Ulcer A break in the skin or mucus
membrane; a chronic open sore that can
appear on the skin, gums, or gut.
Vaccinations See Immunizations.
Vaseline See Petroleum jelly.
Vessels See Blood vessels.
Virus Germs smaller than bacteria, which
cause some infectious diseases, like measles
or the common cold.
Vitamins Ingredients in fruits and vegetables
that our bodies need to work properly.
Volume The amount of space a thing occupies.
We measure volume in liters, ml, gallons, etc.
Weight The heaviness or lightness of a thing.
We measure weight in kilograms, mg,
Wisdom teeth The 3rd molars, which grow
into the mouth when a person is 16-22 years
X-ray A special photograph that allows you to
see bone, roots of teeth, etc., under the skin.