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The gingiva (sing. and plur.: gingiva), or gums, consist of the mucosal tissue that lies over the mandible and maxilla inside the mouth. Gum, also known as gingiva or gingivae, is a connective tissue that surrounds the alveolar bone and tooth necks and is linked to them. Gum pads, which are slight elevations of the covering oral mucous membrane, form prior to the eruption of teeth into the mouth cavity. The gum envelops each tooth's neck after tooth emergence is complete. Gum is joined to each tooth's cement and enamel and fastened to the nearby alveolar bone.

Gums in good health are pink, stippled, and only slightly sensitive to pain, cold, and pressure. A line roughly matches the teeth' shape and separates the gums from the red alveolar mucosa. The gums' outer borders are free, extending between the teeth like little wedges. Internal periodontal membrane fibers penetrate the gum and firmly hold it against the teeth. Early indications of gum inflammation, or gingivitis, include changes in color, loss of stippling, or abnormal sensitivity.

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