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Fast Facts – Physiologic Observation of the Periodontium

Fast Facts: Perio Edition Episode 22
[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]
Hello and welcome to Fast Facts: Perio Edition. This week is the final week that we are discussing anatomy, and I’m so excited to pull all of these pieces together as this week we are going to be discussing the physiologic observation of the periodontium.
Essentially, how do all of these moving parts keep our periodontium stable and maintain a physiologic status of health for our patients?
We’re going to be talking this week about the blood supply, lymphatics, and the nerve endings that stabilize our patients. Beginning with, of course, the blood supply. We know that the blood supply is extremely important because it delivers immuno components and nutritional components and helps to support the periodontium in health.
So the gingiva itself receives its blood support from the vessels of the periosteum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. These are vessels called supraperiosteal. So these vessels are located on top of the periosteum and they run across the buccal and lingual surfaces of alveolar bone. They’ve got teeny, tiny little branches that branch off of them and eventually make their way toward the gingiva. We know that these blood vessels will eventually make their way into the alveolar bone and periodontal ligament and form a gingival plexus that’s located just kind of underneath our epithelium that we see. We also have the inferior and superior alveolar arteries that are going to supply the majority of the blood vessels of the periodontal ligament.
Blood supply to the cortical bone itself is via branches of that same supraperiosteal blood vessel. From a lymphatic standpoint, lymphatic drainage from the gingiva begins in the interdental papilla, particularly in the connective tissue, and it drains into the lymph nodes that happen to be located in that region. Most often times those submandibular nodes, those are the ones that we often times palpate on our patients and can detect an enlargement. The lymphatic vessels themselves will follow the same course as the blood vessels. The submandibular lymph nodes are going to drain lymphatic fluid from the tongue as well as salivary glands, lips and the mouth as well.
The submental lymph nodes drain lymphatic fluid from the tip of the tongue, the incisors, the central part of the lower lip and the floor of the mouth. And of course, we have incredible nerve supply as well. The nerves that supply the periodontium are primarily the trigeminal, the fifth cranial nerve, and we know that those nerves will also follow alongside the blood vessels that supply blood to our periodontium.
These branches, of course, in the maxilla are going to comprise the anterior, middle, and superior alveolar nerves, as well as the posterior superior, alveolar nerve and of course, our palatal nerves – the Nasopalatine and Greater Palatine, as well as the mandible being supplied by nerve endings of the Inferior Alveolar nerve which will supply the posterior region as well as the side of the tongue and the Mental Nerve, which is going to supply the anterior region. The lingual nerve supplies the mandibular lingual gingiva, and in tandem with the mylohyoid nerve can also supply the side of the tongue.
That’s it. We have concluded Anatomy! Have an awesome week, you guys!
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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