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Seal Product Glossary

Anti-gingivitis or Anti-plaque
Anti-plaque, anti-gingivitis, antibacterial, antimicrobial or chemotherapeutic reduce bacterial count and inhibit bacterial activity that can cause gingivitis, a form of periodontal (gum) disease

Artificial saliva
Artificial saliva is a product that is used by people who have too little of their own naturally occurring saliva (a condition known as dry mouth). Products are available in an aerosol or a liquid that is squirted into the mouth

Quality of being tolerated in a specific living environment, in spite of some adverse or unwanted side effects1

Process of removing tissue for histologic evaluation

Process of lightening of the teeth, usually using a chemical oxidizing agent and sometimes in the presence of heat. Removal of deep seated intrinsic or acquired discolorations from crowns of vital and non-vital teeth through the use of chemicals, sometimes in combination with the application of heat and light. Bleaching has been achieved through short and long term applications of pastes or solutions containing various concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Normally applied externally to teeth; may be used internally for endodontically treated teeth.

Commonly used term for tooth decay

Missing tooth structure. A cavity may be due to decay, erosion or abrasion. If caused by caries; also referred to as carious lesion

Clinical trial
Evaluation in human beings of the preventive or therapeutic efficacy and or safety of an agent of a method, by intra-group, or inter-person comparison1

Cosmetic / Cosmetic Dentistry
Those services provided by dentists solely for the purpose of improving the appearance when form and function are satisfactory and no pathologic conditions exist


Denture adherents / Creams / Powders
Denture adherents (also called denture adhesives) are creams, powders, wafers or strips that are used as a temporary measure to hold dentures firmly in place. The adherent is applied to clean dentures that are then positioned in the mouth and held in place for a few moments

Denture cleansers
Denture cleansers are creams, pastes, gels and solutions that are made to clean both full dentures and removable partial dentures (often called “partials”). Some denture cleansers are tablets that are dropped into warm water to create an effervescent (fizzy) solution. Dentures are removed from the mouth and placed in the solution

An artificial substitute for some or all of the natural teeth and adjacent tissues

Dry mouth
also called xerostomia (zero-STOW-me-uh), results from an inadequate flow of saliva. Drying irritates the soft tissues in the mouth, which can make them inflamed and more susceptible to infection. Severe dry mouth can promote the growth of harmful organisms. Without the cleansing and shielding effects of adequate saliva flow, tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease become much more common. Constant dryness and the lack of protection provided by saliva contribute to bad breath. Dry mouth also causes full dentures to become less comfortable because there is no thin film of saliva to help them adhere properly to oral tissues

Ability of a product to perform the function for which it was designed1

Hard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth

Floss is usually made from nylon filaments or plastic monofilaments. It may be treated with flavoring agents, such as mint, to make flossing more pleasant. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it has a chance to harden into plaque. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces

Inflammation of gingival tissue without loss of connective tissue

Interdental cleaner
Devise to clean between the teeth

Inside the mouth

Mouthrinses, also referred to as mouthwash, are used for a variety of reasons: to freshen breath, to help prevent or control tooth decay, to reduce plaque (a thin film of bacteria that forms on teeth), to prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease), to reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth, or to produce a combination of these effects. Most mouthrinses are available without a prescription

Pertaining to the mouth

Periodontal disease
Inflammatory process of the gingival tissues and/or periodontal membrane of the teeth, resulting in an abnormally deep gingival sulcus, possibly producing periodontal pockets and loss of supporting alveolar bone

A soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives

Freedom from unacceptable risk of harm1

Stain removal
Eliminating or reducing stain deposits on teeth by chemical or mechanical means1

Deposits of thin layers of dark colored organic matter on tooth surfaces due to habitual use of smoking and chewing tobacco, chewing of snuff and betel nut, and use of coffee and tea, etc. the extent to which staining, as defined above, contributes to changes in intrinsic tooth color is not known. Use of careful oral hygiene procedures can reduce stain deposition, and use of conventional tooth cleaning techniques can remove stains effectively1

Of or pertaining to therapy or treatment; beneficial. Therapy has as its goal the elimination or control of a disease or other abnormal state

Any process that will make teeth appear whiter. This can be achieved in two ways. A product can bleach the tooth, which means that it actually changes the natural tooth color. Bleaching products contain peroxide(s) that help remove deep (intrinsic) and surface (extrinsic) stains. By contrast, non-bleaching whitening products contain agents that work by physical or chemical action to help remove surface stains only Whitening products may be administered by dentists in the dental office, dispensed by dentists for home-use, or purchased over-the-counter (OTC), and can be categorized into two major groups:

  • Peroxide-containing whiteners or bleaching agents; and
  • Whitening toothpastes (dentifrices)

Whitening toothpastes (dentifrices) in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program contain polishing or chemical agents, rather than bleaches, to improve tooth appearance by removing surface stains. They do this through gentle polishing, chemical chelation, or some other non-bleaching action. Several whitening toothpastes that are available OTC have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance


1ANSI/ADA Specification No. 33-Dental Product Standards Development Vocabulary: 2003