Before beginning the study of the gingiva and oral hygiene procedures it is necessary to define several terms commonly used.
apical – Towards the root.
cementoenamel junction (CEJ) – Junction of cementum (root) and enamel (crown).
coronal – Towards the chewing surface of the tooth.
gingival margin – Portion of the free gingiva that is located at the CEJ.
histology – The study of tissues.
interdental papilla – Gingiva extending between two adjacent teeth.
pellicle – Thin film made of saliva, cells, and bacteria that starts the plaque formation process.
periodontium – Collective term for the structures that support the teeth.