Canadian Academy of Periodontology

The foundation of a healthy smile

What is the periodontium

To understand periodontal disease, it is important to have an idea of the anatomy of the tooth and its supporting structure (called the periodontium).

A tooth is made of two main parts:

  1. The crown, covered with enamel is the part that we see in the mouth.
  2. The roots are hidden under the gums in the jawbone.

The root anchors the tooth in the jawbone.

The gum tissues, called gingiva, cover the bone and are tightly tucked against the tooth.

A small fold between the gum and the tooth is always present. This fold, is also called pocket.

A small measuring tool, called periodontal probe, allows the dentist or periodontist to measure the depth of the pocket.

The pockets are usually shallow when the gums are healthy.

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