abrasivity – Describes a material of various particle size and hardness.

CINAHL – A database for nursing and allied health literature.

Cochrane Collaboration – An organization that aims to help people make well-informed decisions about healthcare by preparing, maintaining and promoting the accessibility of systematic reviews of the effects of healthcare interventions.

dentifrice – Another name for a tooth gel, paste or powder.

editorial boards – A group of people who are experts in their field who review articles prior to publication.

EMBASE – A database providing rapid access to the world’s biomedical and drug literature.

evidence – The data on which a conclusion or judgment may be based; proof.

gingival abrasion – Trauma to the gingival tissue which frequently occurs on the facial surfaces.

gingival index – Used to assess the severity of gingivitis based on color, consistency, and bleeding on probing.

gingival recession – Reduction of the height of the marginal gingiva to a location apical to the cementoenamel junction, resulting in root surface exposure.

gingivitis – Inflammation of the gingival tissue with no apical migration of the junctional epithelium beyond the cementoenamel junction.

host defense – A person’s immune response to invasion by pathogens or to treatment.

MEDLINE – A comprehensive database of life sciences and biomedical bibliographic information.

pathogenic products – Products that can cause disease; such as specific bacteria.

periodontal disease – Inflammatory disease of the periodontium that results from the progression of gingivitis and is caused by specific microorganisms.

supragingival plaque – Plaque located above the gingival margin.

subgingival plaque – Plaque located below the gingival margin.

systemic disease – A disease that affects an entire organism or bodily system.

systematic review – A rigorous method of reviewing original research to synthesize results, which results in a summary of the best evidence on a specific topic.

tongue cleaning – The removal of debris and bacteria from the tongue.

toothbrush abrasion – A pathologic wearing down of the tooth as a result of improper toothbrush use.