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Maxillary Gingiva
Digestive System

Maxillary Gingiva

Gingiva maxillaris

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The maxillary gingiva is the region of oral mucosa surrounding the upper dentition and the corresponding alveolar regions of the maxilla. There are two regions of gingivae, the attached and free gingivae. The bulk of the gingival is attached to the alveolar margins of the maxilla. The free gingivae form a thin rim, of approximately 1 mm, around the neck of the teeth (Standring, 2016).

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Related parts of the anatomy

Key Features/Anatomical Relations

At the base of the maxilla gingivae, the masticatory mucosa of the gingiva is separated from the lining mucosa by the mucogingival junction. This can be easily differentiated due to the different colors of the different mucosae. The mucosa lining the alveolar surfaces is dark red while the gingival mucosa is pale pink. This is proportional to the level of keratinization and its proximity to the vasculature.


The gingivae act as a barrier against the external environment, such as preventing injury, water loss, and microbial invasion. Additionally, since the gingivae is considered masticatory mucosa, it protects underlying structures from the mechanical stresses of mastication.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Gingivitis


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice., 41st edition. Elsevier Limited.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Gum (Oral Cavity)

ScienceDirect image

The gingiva is a fibrous investing tissue that immediately surrounds and is contiguous with its PDL and with the mucosal tissues of the mouth.

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