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Bear Creek Dentistry

5 Dental Terms That You Might Misunderstand

March 30, 2018
Posted By: Dr. Bryan Le
dentist houston tx

Dentistry, like all aspects of healthcare, often contains terms that boggle the mind. Some dental terms can also sound a little scary when they are just technical jargon to explain something relatively routine.

If you want a Houston dentist who explains treatment along with all of your options (and what they mean), contact Bear Creek Dentistry & Orthodontics where our friendly dentists are happy to answer your questions and help you gain a healthy smile.


Radiographs refer to x-rays. At our Houston dental office, we use digital x-rays for the sharpest image and patient safety. Digital x-rays emit up to 80 percent less radiation than their old-fashioned film counterparts.

Periodontal Treatment

Periodontal treatment refers to gum therapy designed to eliminate infection by removing tartar and bacteria from the teeth and between the teeth and gums. Root planing and scaling refer to a deep dental cleaning required by people who have symptoms such as bad breath, tartar, pus, bleeding gums, and mobile teeth.

While root planing and scaling sounds a bit intimidating, our hygienists are gentle and provide valuable resources to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Dead Tooth

A dead tooth is a term that people use to refer to a tooth with a damaged or dead nerve. Typically, a dead tooth refers to a tooth that needs root canal therapy. Root canal therapy often strikes fear into the heart of patients, but we are here with the latest technology and a gentle touch to ensure a comfortable experience. You will feel so much better after treating a tooth that needs a root canal.


Bruxism sounds like something from science fiction, but it means teeth grinding. Teeth grinding usually happens during sleep, but clenching can occur throughout the day, especially if you feel stressed.

A nightguard helps to relax the jaw and prevent damage from teeth continually putting force against each other by placing a barrier between the upper and lower teeth.


TMJ refers to the jaw joints or temporomandibular joints. TMD refers to temporomandibular joint dysfunction – painful jaw joints. TMD can develop due to trauma, a bad bite, or because of developmental issues.

Your Houston dentist at Bear Creek Dentistry & Orthodontics will gladly discuss any dental terms you find stressful or confusing, so you understand your treatment fully.

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