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Periodontal ligament

Recommended video: Anatomy of the tooth [15:13]
Structure and surrounding structures of a tooth seen in cross section.

The periodontal ligament can be defined as the fibrous connective tissue found between the roots of the teeth and the inner wall of the bone socket.

It consists of primarily type I collagen bands which bind the cementum of teeth to the gingivae and alveolar processes of the maxilla and mandible, respectively.

Fibroblasts are also found in the periodontal ligament tissue, playing a role in the formation, maintenance and repair of the cementum and alveolar bone. 

The periodontal ligament has many different functions, including providing tooth attachment and support, acting as a 'shock absorber' during mastication as well as assisting with tooth eruption and bone remodelling. 

Terminology English: Periodontal ligament
Synonyms: Periodontal membrane, Periodontal fiber

: Ligamentum periodontale
Synonyms: Desmodontium, Membrana periodontalis
Definition The periodontal ligament is the fibrous connective tissue found between the roots of the teeth and the inner wall of the alveolar bone socket.
Function Tooth attachment and support, shock absorption during mastication, tooth eruption, bone remodelling.

Want to learn more about the anatomy of teeth? You can do so by working your way through the following study unit:

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