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Fast Facts - Perio Edition Episode 14

Fast Facts

Fast Facts: Perio Edition “Periodontal Ligament Fibers”
Evidence-Based Dentistry. This is a term we are well acquainted with here at Coast Dental and it is fundamental to our clinical performance.
As you are completing your daily functions, documenting your comprehensive periodontal charting, think about what you are feeling for with the tip of the periodontal probe. Is the area of resistance firm and without bleeding or is it softer, bleeding, and deeper before you feel the resistance? What is going on in the regenerative process or the destructive process and how does this impact your plans for treatment?
A Message for Coast Dental Hygienists and Doctors:
Andrew Johnston, RDH, BSBM
Director of Hygiene Coast Dental
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Welcome back,  everyone. You are listening to another episode of Fast Facts- Perio Edition brought to you by A Tale of Two Hygienists in partnership with DentistRX. And now, please welcome your host, Katrina Sanders.
[Katrina Sanders, RDH]
Today's episode is walking us through the conversation around oral anatomy and specifically today we're going to be talking about our amazing periodontal ligament.
We know that the periodontal ligament is a gingival connective tissue attachment apparatus, specifically that these collagen fibers in the gingiva are arranged so that they maintain the gingiva against the tooth and the bone. Now, the periodontal ligament is really important because this ligament functions in many different ways. That ligament transmits occlusal forces touch, pressure and pain through sensory nerve fibers. That's why if you're a clencher and a grinder you wake up in the morning and you go, ooh, my teeth are hurting, it's probably the periodontal ligament that's causing pain. That PDL attaches the teeth to the bone and it resists the impact of occlusal forces, it truly is a shock absorber. We can observe this radial graphically, although we cannot see the periodontal ligament itself on a radiograph we can see that PDL space and when we see widening of that periodontal ligament space, we know that that tooth may be experiencing a higher absorption of shock of the occlusion.
The PDL also protects the nerves and vessels from injury by surrounding the root with soft tissue, and it supplies nutrients to the remaining periodontal structures of the bone, the cementum, and the gingiva.
Now, it's important to notate that the fibroblast is the most prominent cell in that periodontal ligament and that is done intentionally because the periodontal ligament has several different types of principle fiber groups that all provide support. If there's a destruction of that periodontal ligament, the fibroblast starts to move very quickly in supporting these fiber bundles in development and growth.
Now we have different types of fiber groups. The first is your transseptal. Transseptal means across the bony septum and these are fibers that actually connect two adjacent teeth to each other. These are the fibers that are most commonly adjusted during orthodontic treatment.
So when a patient is experiencing pain during ortho, it's usually because those transseptal fibers that are being stretched out and extended are experiencing some soreness.
We have the alveolar crest group and that alveolar crest group is going to firmly adhere from the tooth into the top of the alveolar crest.
We have horizontal fibers which move horizontally, oblique fibers which move obliquely. And it should be noted that our oblique fibers are going to be the ones that withstand the most mascutory stress. They are the largest and most significant fiber group. We also have the apical group. These are the periodontal ligament fibers that extend from the cementum at the root apex to the base of our tooth socket.
And finally, we have our interradicular group. These are, of course, only found in multirooted teeth, interradicular means the space in between the roots and this group is going to extend from the cementum at the furcation site to the bone within the furcation area.
Well, it is my hope that you enjoyed today's conversation about the fabulous periodontal ligament fibers. Stay tuned as we continue this conversation around oral anatomy. 
This has been another episode of Fast Facts - Perio Edition with Katrina Sanders, RDH. Please feel free to reach me on Instagram @thedentalwinegenist or on my website Cheers.
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Thank you for listening to another episode of Fast Facts - Perio Edition, brought to you in part by DentistRX makers of the InteliSonic line of power brushes. Find out more by visiting their website at We'll see you next week for another Fast Fact!

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