1. Gingival epithelium


b. Sulcular epithelium

It is the stratified, squamous epithelium, non-keratinized or parakeratinized, that is continuous with the oral epithelium and lines the lateral surface of the sulcus (Fig. 1 and Fig. 9)   Apically, it overlaps the coronal border of the junctional epithelium, a structural design that minimizes ulceration of the epithelial lining in this region. This epithelium shares many of the characteristics of the oral epithelium (Fig. 10), including good resistance to mechanical forces and relative impermeability to fluid and cells.

histo28a_sm.jpg (9777 bytes)
Fig: 18:  The overall structure of the sulcular epithelium resembles that of the oral epithelium, except for the surface layer that is less keratinized than its counterpart in the oral epithelium.   This incomplete type of keratinization is referred to as parakeratinization. CT, gingival connective tissue; GS, gingival sulcus; PKE, parakeratinized epithelial layer.

histo29a_sm.jpg (7761 bytes)

Fig. 19:  This is a higher magnification of Fig. 18. Note the presence in the parakeratinized surface layer of incompletely keratinized epithelial cells (PKC) with residual nuclei.  Also note the tightly sealed intercellular spaces (ICS) that contribute to the low permeability of this portion of the gingival epithelium.  GS, gingival sulcus.




University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania and Temple University 1999. All rights reserved.
Created: May 8, 1999  Revised:
Max A. Listgarten: Comments to author: max@listgarten.com
(Technical Support: Center for Dental Informatics: Heiko Spallek)
Temple University