Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care warning signs Underlying Cause Anatomy

Injured Gingiva Anatomy

To better understand a gum injury, it helps to understand the anatomy of the teeth.


  • Primary or baby teeth: 12 total teeth
  • Permanent or secondary teeth: 32 total teeth

Tooth types:
  • 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.

Last Updated: Nov 6, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Injured Gingiva References
  1. Bader JD, Shugars DA, Martin JA. Risk indicators for posterior tooth fracture. J Am Dent Assoc. 2004 Jul;135(7):883-92. [15354899]
  2. Douglass AB, Douglass JM. Common dental emergencies. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Feb 1;67(3):511-6. [12588073]
  3. Ellis SG, Macfarlane TV, McCord JF. Influence of patient age on the nature of tooth fracture. J Prosthet Dent. 1999 Aug;82(2):226-30. [10424989]
  4. Schutzman SA, Liebelt E, Wisk M, Burg J. Comparison of oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate and intramuscular meperidine, promethazine, and chlorpromazine for conscious sedation of children undergoing laceration repair. Ann Emerg Med. 1996 Oct;28(4):385-90. [8839521]
  5. Steinig JP, DeLoach ED, Boyd CR. Transection of the base of the tongue caused by penetrating injury. Am Surg. 1999 Feb;65(2):133-4. [9926746]
  6. Wu K, Ahmed A. Penetrating injury to the soft palate causing retropharyngeal air collection. Emerg Med J. 2005 Feb;22(2):148-9. [15662074]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.