Structure and Characteristics of Gums
– Gums are part of the soft tissue lining of the mouth.
– They surround the teeth and provide 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.
– Changes in color, swelling, and bleeding suggest inflammation.
– Marginal gums are the edge of the gums surrounding the teeth.
– The marginal gum varies in width from 0.5 to 2.0mm.
– It follows the scalloped pattern established by the cementoenamel junction.
– The marginal gum lacks stippling and is mobile or free from the tooth surface.
– Attached gums are continuous with the marginal gum.
– They are firm, resilient, and tightly bound to the underlying bone.
– The width of the attached gum varies according to its location.
– The greatest width is in the incisor region.
– Certain levels of attached gum are necessary for the stability of the tooth root.
– The interdental gum lies between the teeth.
– It occupies the gingival embrasure beneath the area of tooth contact.
– The interdental papilla can be pyramidal or have a col shape.
– The col varies in depth and width depending on the tooth surfaces.
– The col is mainly present in the broad interdental gingiva of posterior teeth.
– Healthy gums usually have a smooth curved or scalloped contour.
– They have a firm texture with surface stippling.
– Healthy gums usually have a coral pink color.
– Other colors like red, white, and blue can signify inflammation or pathology.
– Variation in color is possible due to various factors.
– Excess melanin can cause dark spots or patches on the gums.
Gum depigmentation is a procedure used to remove discolorations.
– Uniformity of color is more important than the underlying color itself.
– Healthy gums have a smooth curved or scalloped appearance.
– They fill and fit each space between the teeth.
– Healthy gums hold tight to each tooth at the free gingival margin.
– Inflamed gums have a puffy or rolled margin.
– Healthy gums have a knife-edge thin gum surface at the free gingival margin.
– Healthy gums have a firm texture resistant to movement.
– The surface texture often exhibits surface stippling.
– Unhealthy gums are often swollen and less firm.
– Healthy gums have an orange-peel like texture due to the stippling.
– Unhealthy gums have a different texture due to inflammation.
– Healthy gums usually have no reaction to normal disturbance.
– Unhealthy gums show bleeding on probing or purulent exudate.
– Healthy gums are stable and do not bleed during brushing.
– Unhealthy gums may bleed or show pus when disturbed.
– Healthy gums have a normal response to periodontal probing.

Clinical Significance of Gums
– Improper or insufficient oral hygiene can lead to gum and periodontal disorders.
Gingivitis and periodontitis are major causes of tooth failure.
– Anabolic steroids are associated with gingival enlargement.
Gingival recession may indicate underlying inflammation.
– The gingival cavity microecosystem can support the growth of harmful microorganisms.

Related Topics
– Medicine portal
– Gum graft
– Head and neck anatomy
– Periodontitis

– Gum disease opens up the body to a host of infections (Science News, April 6, 2016)
– Illustrated Dental Embryology, Histology, and Anatomy (Bath-Balogh and Fehrenbach, Elsevier, 2011, page 123)
– Mosbys Medical Dictionary, 8th edition (2009, Elsevier)
– Gingival Recession – Causes and treatment (JADA, Vol 138, Oct 2007, American Dental Association)
– Dental sensitivity (, Retrieved on August 2010)

External Links
– Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gums
– Capnocytophaga sp.
Preston D. Miller
Willoughby D. Miller
Carl E. Misch
John Mankey Riggs
Jay Seibert
Jørgen Slots
Paul Roscoe Stillman
Dennis P. Tarnow

Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus
Gums (Wikipedia)

The gums or gingiva (pl.: gingivae) consist of the mucosal tissue that lies over the mandible and maxilla inside the mouth. Gum health and disease can have an effect on general health.

Cross-section of a tooth with gums labeled
Anatomical terminology
Gums (Wiktionary)





  1. plural of gum



  1. third-person singular simple present indicative of gum


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