Gum is the pink soft tissue in the mouth that surrounds the teeth and covers the maxillary bone. The gingiva’s fibres serve as part of the support structure that holds the teeth in place. Gum also protects the teeth from microbial infection at its junction with the tooth.

gum within a tooth

Healthy gums are firm, pink, and do not bleed easily. If micro-organisms build up around a tooth, a substance called plaque can form and damage the gum. Careful, regular brushing and flossing are needed to avoid gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) or more advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis.


  1. Naudin C., Grumbach N., Larousse Médical, 3ième édition, Paris, 2003.
  2. Marcovitch H., Black’s Medical Dictionary, 41st edition, London, 2005.
  3. Leikin J. B., Lipsky M. S., Complete Medical Encyclopedia, First edition, New York, 2003.
  4. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (

The information above should be used as a reference only. Any medical decision should not be taken before consulting a health care professional.

The masculine gender may have been more used in the article, but without prejudice, to make reading easier.

Category: dental anatomy