Structure and Characteristics of Gums

  • The gums are part of the soft tissue lining of the mouth and surround the teeth, providing a seal around them.
  • Most of the gums are tightly bound to the underlying bone.
  • Healthy gums are usually coral pink in light-skinned people, but variations in color are possible due to factors such as thickness of the epithelium and natural pigmentation.
  • Healthy gums have a smooth curved or scalloped contour, firm texture with surface stippling, and show no reaction to normal disturbance.

Marginal Gums

  • The marginal gum is the edge of the gums surrounding the teeth, demarcated from the attached gums by a shallow linear depression.
  • The depth of the groove varies according to the area of the oral cavity.
  • The marginal gum follows the scalloped pattern established by the cementoenamel junction.
  • It lacks stippling and is mobile or free from the underlying tooth surface.

Attached Gums

  • The attached gums are continuous with the marginal gum and are firm, resilient, and tightly bound to the underlying bone.
  • The width of the attached gum varies according to its location, and certain levels of attached gum are necessary for the stability of the underlying tooth root.
  • Surface stippling may be present on the attached gum.

Interdental Gum

  • The interdental gum lies between the teeth and occupies the gingival embrasure beneath the area of tooth contact.
  • The interdental papilla can be pyramidal or have a col shape, with the col consisting of nonkeratinized marginal gum.
  • The depth and width of the col vary depending on the contacting tooth surfaces, and it is mainly present in the posterior teeth.

Clinical Significance and Related Concepts

  • Improper or insufficient oral hygiene can lead to gum and periodontal disorders, with gingivitis and periodontitis being major causes of tooth failure.
  • Anabolic steroids are closely associated with gingival enlargement.
  • Gingival recession may indicate underlying inflammation.
  • The gingival cavity microecosystem can support the growth of harmful microorganisms.
  • Related concepts include gum graft, head and neck anatomy, periodontitis, and dental sensitivity.

Gums Mentions

Gums Data Sources

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