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Diabetes and Dental Health - Glossary

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Glossary:

Abscess: Symptoms consisting of a localized collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue.

Antibiotics: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms.

Dental caries: A destructive process causing decalcification of the tooth enamel and leading to continued destruction of enamel and dentine, and cavitation of the tooth.

Diabetes: A condition in which the body cannot properly store or use glucose (sugar), the body's main source of energy.

Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums surrounding teeth. Signs of gingivitis are inflamed and bleeding gums.

Gingiva: A soft tissue layer covering the bone supporting the teeth.

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Neuropathy: A problem in any part of the nervous system except the brain and spinal cord. Neuropathies can be caused by infection, toxic substances, or disease.

Oral surgeon: A dentist with special training in surgery of the mouth and jaw.

Parotid glands: Salivary glands located in the mouth near the ear.

Plaque: Thin layer of food debris and bacteria, which covers the tooth surface.

Saliva: The watery fluid secreted into the mouth by the salivary glands that are in the mouth. It keeps the mouth moist, lubricates food to aid in swallowing, makes it possible to taste food, and contains digestive enzyme (a protein that begins the breakdown of food).

Ulcer: An open sore on the skin or a mucous membrane.

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