Etymologically, the periodontium in Greek it means peri, around and odonto, tooth. So the periodontium refers to those tissues that surround and support the teeth so that they can carry out their functions.

The periodontium is part of the masticatory or stomatognathic system and the tissues that make it up are: the gum, the periodontal ligament, root cement Y the alveolar bone.

The periodontium, in the childhood and puberty stages, is constantly growing and developing as teeth begin to emerge. This means that there cannot be a stable description of a normal periodontium since it will vary according to the age of each person.

The tissues that make up the periodontium are divided into:

  • Periodont of protection. They are the tissues that are responsible for the protection of the insertion periodontium. It is mainly made up of the gum.
  • Periodont of insertion. Tissues responsible for supporting and maintaining the tooth in its position in the socket. It is made up of cementum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone.

Parts that make up the periodontium

There are several parts that make up the periodontium, where each of them fulfills a particular function.

First of all, the root cement, known to be the outermost layer of the tooth at the root level. It has a rough surface that is defined by the fibers of the periodontal ligament, lacks innervation and vascularity, and has a dark yellow color.

The alveolar bone It is another of the important parts of the periodontium, it is the bone tissue that contains alveoli or cavities where the roots of the teeth are housed. The bone fragment that remains between one socket and another adjacent one is called the interdental ridge or septum. It is a tissue sensitive to changes, it is constantly remodeled and it is highly vascularized and innervated. It has wide medullary spaces and is made up of two kinds of bone, compact bone and trabeculated bone.

There are two areas of alveolar bone, one is found in the upper jaw and the other in the mandible or lower jaw. It is a very important bone structure that has a series of peculiarities such as its own resorption in case of tooth loss, a situation that causes all kinds of aesthetic disadvantages and that require treatment.

Within this set of parts that make up the periodontium is the periodontal ligament, which is formed by a set of connective tissue fibers that surround the root of the tooth and join it to the bone, therefore, it keeps the tooth in its socket. It is made up of collagen fibers that are inserted into the cementum of the tooth and into the bone, known as Sharpey’s fibers. It serves as a shock absorber and distributes the forces towards the alveolar bone. Thus, the periodontal ligament makes it possible for the teeth to have a some degree of mobility, as well as a greater capacity to absorb the forces that impact on the tooth. A very important function during functions as basic as chewing, as well as, in case of dental trauma.

Finally, the last part that is part of the periodontium is the gum, which covers the outside of the alveolar bone and is directly attached to the tooth. We could define the gingiva as a part of the buccal mucosa that joins the teeth, as well as the alveolar processes of the jaws, with the aim of faciliate the union of the teeth. It also helps to resist trauma of food during chewing. On the other hand, the gum releases a liquid known as crevicular fluid which acts as a defense factor against microorganisms and food debris.

So that, the periodontium plays a very important role in oral health and it is essential to go for regular check-ups to the dentist to avoid the appearance of periodontal diseases that cause the possible loss of teeth.



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