PERIODONTIUM

Introduction:

Periodontium is the name of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. This includes gums, bones, roots, ligaments and cementum. The periodontium does not include gum tissue alone but extends to the other supporting structures around each tooth.

The periodontium plays a vital role in maintaining healthy teeth. It provides support and stability to the teeth, helps to protect them from damage, and keeps them clean. Without healthy periodontium, teeth would be more susceptible to decay, infection and gum disease.

Structure of Periodontium:

There are four main tissues that make up the periodontium: gingiva, alveolar bone, periodontal ligament and cementum.

1. Gingiva:

The gingiva is the tissue that covers the roots of the teeth. It is also known as gum tissue. The gingiva is composed of two parts: the free gingiva and the attached gingiva.

  • The free gingiva is the tissue that surrounds the teeth but does not attach to them. It is pink in color and has a loose, papillary structure. The free gingiva helps to protect the underlying bone and ligament from bacteria and other foreign particles.
  • The attached gingiva is a layer of tissue that firmly attaches to the teeth. It forms the base upon which all other tissues are built. The attached gingiva helps to keep bacteria and other debris out of the periodontium while also providing a smooth surface on which muscles can exert pressure to dislodge food during chewing.

2. Alveolar Bone:

The alveolar bone is the bone that surrounds and supports the roots of the teeth. It is composed of two parts: the cortical bone and the trabecular bone.

  • The cortical bone is the hard, outer layer of bone that covers the entire alveolar process. The trabecular bone is the spongy, inner layer of bone that fills the spaces between the cortical plates.
  • The alveolar bone provides support and stability to the teeth while also helping to protect them from damage. Without this bone, the teeth would be more susceptible to fractures and other forms of damage.

3. Periodontal Ligament:

The periodontal ligament is a band of connective tissue that attaches the teeth to the alveolar bone. This ligament consists of two parts: the Sharpey’s fibers and the alveolar crest fibers.

  • Sharpey’s fibers are collagenous fibers that attach directly to the tooth root. These fibers help to hold the tooth in place and provide support during chewing. Alveolar crest fibers are collagenous fibers that attach the gingiva to the alveolar bone.
  • The periodontal ligament provides support and stability to the teeth while also helping to protect them from damage. Without this ligament, the teeth would be more susceptible to fractures and other forms of damage.

4. Cementum:

Cementum is a thin layer of bone-like tissue that covers the root of the tooth. It is composed of two parts: the organic matrix and the inorganic mineral content.

  • The organic matrix is made up of collagen fibers, cells, and other proteins. This matrix gives cementum its bone-like properties. The inorganic mineral content is made up of calcium phosphate and hydroxyapatite.
  • This mineral content gives cementum its hard, protective properties. Cementum also helps to anchor the periodontal ligament to the tooth root.

Functions of Periodontium:

The periodontium plays a vital role in maintaining healthy teeth. It provides support and stability to the teeth, helps to protect them from damage, and keeps them clean. Without healthy periodontium, teeth would be more susceptible to decay, infection and gum disease.

The following are some of the key functions of the periodontium:

  • It provides support and stability to the teeth.
  • It helps to protect the teeth from damage.
  • It helps to keep the teeth clean.
  • It helps to prevent decay, infection and gum disease.

Periodontium also plays an important role in the esthetics of the smile. Healthy periodontium is essential for maintaining a bright, white smile. Periodontal disease can cause the gums to recede, exposing the yellowish-brown root surfaces of the teeth. This can give the smile an unhealthy appearance.

Maintaining healthy periodontium is essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy and your smile looking its best. You can help to protect the periodontium by practicing good oral hygiene, having regular professional cleanings and attending your regularly scheduled dental appointments.

Conclusion:

The periodontium is a complex system of tissues and structures that support the teeth and keep them healthy. The periodontal ligament, cementum, and alveolar bone work together to provide support, stability and protection to the teeth.

Healthy periodontium also plays an important role in maintaining good oral health and a bright, white smile. If you have any concerns about the health of your periodontium, be sure to talk to your dentist.