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Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that studies, prevents and treats diseases related to dental implantation and periodontal support tissues.
The term "periodontal" stems from two Greek words: "perio" meaning "around" and "dontal" meaning "tooth." It therefore involves gum tissues, the periodontal ligament, the root cementum and the alveolar bone.
The gum is the tissue that lines the bone supporting the teeth via the periodontal ligament. Due to poor hygiene, resulting in the presence of plaque; smoking; stress; immune deficiency and poor eating habits, the gum is weakened and subject to infections as a result of bacteria in the mouth.
All of these factors, by themselves or jointly, can lead to gum disease which may in turn progress to a periodontitis (loss of bone support) and consequent loss of teeth.
Prevention is the best way to avoid the onset of periodontal disease and must be followed by good dental hygiene habits, and periodic check-ups at the dentist.