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Gingival fibers

The gingival fibers are the connective tissue fibers that attach a tooth to the gingival tissue.[1] They are primarily composed to type I collagen, although type III fibers are also involved.

These fibers, unlike the fibers of the periodontal ligament, in general, attach the tooth to the gingival tissue, rather than from the tooth to the alveolar bone.


Functions of the gingival fibers

The gingival fibers accomplish the following tasks:[2]

  • They hold the marginal gingiva against the tooth
  • They provide the marginal gingiva with enough rigidity to withstand the forces of mastication without distorting
  • They serve to stabilize the marginal gingiva by uniting it with both the tissue of the more rigid attached gingiva as well as the cementum layer of the tooth.

Gingival fibers and periodontitis

In theory, gingival fibers are the protectors against periodontitis, as once they are breached, they cannot be regenerated. Thus the gingival sulcus (G) increases in size, trapping more acidic debris and bacteria. However, if gingival fibers are managed to be regrown using stem cells, then periodontitis may have a chance at reversal.

Types of gingival fibers

  There are three groups within which gingival fibers are arranged:

  • gingivodental group - there are three types of fibers within this group:
    • fibers that extend towards the crest of the gingiva
    • fibers that extend laterally to the outer surface of the gingiva and
    • fibers that extend outward, past the height of the alveolar crest, and then downward along the cortex of the alveolar bone.
  • circular group - these fibers are unique in that they exist entirely within the gingiva and do not contact the tooth
  • transseptal group - these fibers have traditionally been described as spanning the interproximal tissue between adjacent teeth, into which they are embedded.[3] However, two other types of fibers have been described in this group:[4]
    • semicicular fibers - fibers that run through the facial and lingual gingiva around each tooth, attaching to the interproximal surfaces of the same tooth.
    • transgingival fibers - fibers that run between two non-adjacent teeth and are embedded in the cementum of their proximal surfaces, passing around the tooth in the middle of the two teeth attached with these fibers.


  1. ^ Carranza's Clinical Periodontoloty, 9th Ed., W.B. Saunders, 2002, page 26.
  2. ^ Carranza's Clinical Periodontoloty, 9th Ed., W.B. Saunders, 2002, page 26.
  3. ^ Carranza's Clinical Periodontoloty, 9th Ed., W.B. Saunders, 2002, page 27.
  4. ^ Page, RC, "Collagen fiber bundles of the normal marginal gingiva in the marmoset, Archs Oral Biol, 1972, 19:1039.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gingival_fibers". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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