Gum Swelling Anatomy
To better understand gingivitis, it helps to understand the anatomy of the teeth.
- Incisors: central and lateral incisors cut the food
- Cuspids or canines cut and tear food
- Pre-molars or bicuspids: shear the food
- Molars: grind the food
Parts of a tooth:
- Crown: The visible portion of a tooth.
- Root: The portion of the tooth embedded in the gum.
- Pulp: Located in the center of the tooth, it contains the arteries, veins, nerves and lymphatic tissue.
Layers of a tooth:
- Dentin: underlies the enamel on the crown and cementum on the root
- Enamel: the outer layer of the crown of the tooth; can be eroded by a cavity
- Cementum: The outer layer of tissue covering the dentin on the root of the tooth
Portions of the tooth that hold it in place:
- Gingiva: the gums are the soft tissues that surround the base of the tooth
- Root canal: The canal in the root of the tooth is where the nerve and blood vessels travel with nutrients to the tooth from the mandible or the maxilla.
- Ligament: The connective tissue that surrounds the root of a tooth and connects it to the maxilla or mandible.
- Bone: Alveolar bone forms tooth socket and part of the teeth.
- Beirne P, Forgie A, Clarkson J, Worthington HV. Recall intervals for oral health in primary care patients. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Apr 18;(2):CD004346. 
- Ratcliff PA, Johnson PW. The relationship between oral malodor, gingivitis, and periodontitis. A review. J Periodontol. 1999 May;70(5):485-9. 
- Schatzle M, Loe H, Burgin W, Anerud A, Boysen H, Lang NP. Clinical course of chronic periodontitis. I. Role of gingivitis. J Clin Periodontol. 2003 Oct;30(10):887-901. 
- Trombelli L. Susceptibility to gingivitis: a way to predict periodontal disease? Oral Health Prev Dent. 2004;2 Suppl 1:265-9.