The periodontium is the set of supporting tissues of the teeth. Its etymology comes from the Greek para meaning “around” and odontos (tooth). It consists of all of the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. He understands:
- the alveolar bone (A) of the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw),
- the periodontal (L) or dento-alveolar ligament which unites the root of the tooth to the alveolar bone which surrounds it,
- the attached gum (G) is securely attached to the jaw bone and tooth. A minimum quantity is required to ensure the stability of the teeth,
- the mucosa (M) is a more fragile type of gum that is mobile and not attached to the jaw bone or tooth,
- the cementum, which is the outer layer of the dental roots,
- nerve elements (periodontal receptors or proprioceptors, nerve fibers) and blood vessels (arterioles, venules), which are located in the soft tissue and the space occupied by the ligament between the root and the bone.
- A healthy periodontium has a specific level of gum that surrounds, covers, and protects the tooth. The arrow indicates an area of gingival recession where the level of gum has decreased and exposes part of the root.
- A healthy gum is pale pink, firm and looks like an “orange peel.” She should not have edema, inflammation, bleeding, or ulceration.
The role of the periodontium is multiple. Not only does it support the tooth with the underlying alveolar bone, but it helps to reshape the structures subjected to forces (for example, during the application of orthodontic forces), function and age, and provides an effective barrier defense against multiple microorganisms in the oral cavity. Its integrity is essential for good dental health and dental movements during orthodontic treatment.
- The periodontium is of crucial importance in orthodontics because it must be healthy, intact, and of the best possible quality to allow the displacement of multiple teeth during orthodontic treatment.
- Its structures are fragile and easily damaged if inadequate forces are used. Also, poor oral hygiene can damage or destroy its components and make it impossible to move normal teeth.
- The quality of the periodontium can vary from one person to another, and its evaluation considers the quality and quantity of the tissues present. Heredity plays an important role in determining the type of tissue in an individual.
- The gum consists of a keratinized epithelial tissue and collagen fibers which attach the gum to the alveolar bone and the cementum of the tooth (attached gum). This gives it resistance to masticatory stresses.
Despite the severity of the malocclusion and periodontal problems affecting individuals. Orthodontic treatment may be possible. This requires an interdisciplinary approach and regular follow-up with a periodontist during treatment.