- The word "periodontal" literally means "around the tooth." Periodontal diseases are bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold the teeth in the mouth. Left untreated, these diseases can lead to tooth loss. The main cause of periodontal disease is a bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on teeth. Periodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Periodontists are also expert in the placement and maintenance of dental implants. Periodontics is one of the 8 dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.
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* * *peri·odon·tal .per-ē-ō-'dänt-əl adj1) investing or surrounding a tooth2) of or affecting the periodontium <\periodontal infection>peri·odon·tal·ly -əl-ē adv
* * *adj.denoting or relating to the tissues surrounding the teeth.
* * *peri·odon·tal (per″e-o-donґtəl) [peri- + odont- + -al1] 1. pertaining to the periodontal ligament or periodontium. 2. near or around a tooth; called also peridental.
Medical dictionary. 2011.