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The tissues of the periodontium combine to form an active, dynamic group of tissues. The alveolar bone (C) is surrounded for the most part by the subepithelial connective tissue of the gingiva, which in turn is covered by the various characteristic gingival epithelia. The cementum overlaying the tooth root (B) is attached to the adjacent cortical surface of the alveolar bone by the alveolar crest (I), horizontal (J) and oblique (K) fibers of the periodontal ligament.

Periodontium refers to the specialized tissues that both surround and support the teeth, maintaining them in the maxillary and mandibular bones. The word comes from the Greek terms peri-, meaning "around" and -odons, meaning "tooth." Literally taken, it means that which is "around the tooth". Periodontics is the dental specialty that relates specifically to the care and maintenance of these tissues.

The following four tissues make up the periodontium:

zh-min-nan:Khí-chiu-cho͘-chit de:Zahnhalteapparat it:Parodonto hu:Fogágy nl:Parodontium sr:Периодонцијум fi:Parodontium