Periodontology studies supporting structures of teeth, diseases, and conditions that affect them. The supporting tissues are known as the periodontium, which includes the gingiva (gums), alveolar bone, cementum, and the periodontal ligament.
Dental periodontics is primarily concerned with treating and preventing serious gum infections such as periodontitis.
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. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to severe pain and possible loss of teeth.