A Guide to Your Teeth

General Dentistry Beausejour Manitoba

Dental terminology seems to be in a world of its own; do you ever feel confused when you’re in the dentist’s chair? You can hear them talking, but you aren’t quite sure what they’re saying, and maybe even when the professionals start talking to you directly, you only half understand what’s about to take place in your mouth. Here’s a quick guide to helping you understand all that dental lingo, so you can feel more informed next time you’re at Beausejour Dental Centre:
Numbering your Teeth
Adults have 32 permanent teeth, and those teeth are numbered in a clockwise fashion from the dentist’s perspective. Teeth 1-16 are the top half of your mouth, while 17-32 are the lower half (including your wisdom teeth!) This means that your wisdom teeth are numbers 1, 16, 17, and 32. Your front, most visible teeth are 6-11 on the top, and 22-27 on the bottom. Your “eye” teeth, or canines, (the sharp, vampire-like teeth!) are numbers 6, 11, 22, and 27.
In addition to each tooth having a specific number, dentists also split your mouth into four quadrants – the upper portion of your mouth contains the first two, and the lower half has quadrants three and four. Again, dentists look at the quadrants in a clockwise fashion from their perspective, so your top right is quadrant one, top left is two, bottom left three, and finally your bottom right is quadrant four.
Numbering your Gums
Dentists measure the distance between the pocket of your gum and its tooth in millimeters, and the smaller the distance, the better; numbers around one, two, and three indicate healthy gums – this probably means that you brush and floss regularly, and are taking great care of your teeth and gums with your oral health routine. Larger numbers are indications of oral issues like plaque and tartar buildup that could be contributing to early gum disease; numbers greater than five are a serious issue, and your dentist will most likely recommend a deep cleaning to hopefully help you avoid bone loss or periodontal disease.
Remember, the best way to take care of your teeth and gums is to brush and floss every day, and to schedule regular appointments with Beausejour Dental Centre. If you have any questions about your oral health, or to schedule your next appointment with Beausejour Dental Centre, call 204.268.1782, today!