Perth Glossary Of Dental Terms T to X


This is a glossary of terms for your information.

Aria Dental recommends that you understand dental terms and words that may be used in the course of dialogue with our Dentists and Dental Staff.

Please do not hesitate to seek further clarification, if necessary.

All our staff will be happy to assist in your understanding.


  • Tartar: A common term for dental calculus, a hard deposit that adheres to teeth and produces a rough surface that attracts plaque.
  • TMD (or TMJ Disorder): Temperomandibular disorder, the term given to the condition characterised by facial pain and restricted ability to open or move the jaw.
  • TMJ: The temporomandibular joint where the lower jaw attaches to the skull.
  • Tooth Decay: Often known as dental cavities or dental caries, is the destruction of the tooth. Decay results from the action of bacteria that live in plaque, which is a sticky, whitish film formed by a protein in saliva (mucin) and sugary substances in the mouth.
  • Tooth Whitening: A chemical process to lighten the colour of teeth.
  • Topical Anaesthetic: An ointment that produces mild anaesthesia when applied to the tissue surface.
  • Torus: Common bony protuberance on the palate or lower jaw.
  • Transplant: The process of placing a natural tooth in the empty socket of another tooth.
  • Trauma: Injury caused by external forces, chemical or temperature extremes, or poor tooth alignment.
  • Trench Mouth: Gum disease characterised by severe mouth sores and loss of tissue.


  • Unerupted Tooth: A tooth that has not pushed through the gum and assumed its correct position in the dental arch.


  • Veneer: In dentistry, a veneer is a layer of material placed over a tooth, either to improve the aesthetics of a tooth or to protect the tooth’s surface from damage. There are two main types of materials used to fabricate a veneer: composite resin and dental porcelain.
  • Vertical Dimension: The arbitrary space between the upper and lower jaws upon closure that may decrease over time due to wear, shifting or damage to the teeth.


  • Wisdom Teeth: The third (last) molars that usually erupt between the ages of 18-25.


  • Xerostomia: Dry mouth or decrease in the production of saliva.