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Fast Facts - The Interdental Gingiva

Fast Facts

Fast Facts - Perio Edition Episode 11
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Welcome back,  everyone. You are listening to another episode of Fast Facts- Perio Edition brought to you by A Tale of Two Hygienists in partnership with DentistRX. And now, please welcome your host, Katrina Sanders.
[Katrina Sanders, RDH]
This week's episode is a continuous episode in which we are going to be discussing anatomical considerations of the periodontium. In previous weeks, we talked about the gingiva and more specifically, the attached gingiva. Today, we're going to talk about the interdental gingiva or the interdental papilla. Now we know that in a healthy situation, this interdental papilla or this interdental gingiva is going to tightly occupy that embrasure space. The goal, of course, is for that interdental gingiva to be an extension of that free gingiva. We want it to firmly bind onto that tooth structure allowing for a beautiful sulcus around the area. The size and shape of your interdental papilla are going to be determined by the CEJ and the width of interproximal tooth surfaces. Which is a fancy term for saying that if we've got anterior teeth with short and pointed alveolar bone and short contacts, we should have a pointed interdental space and therefore a pointed interdental papilla versus, of course, in the posterior where we're going to see a more flattened interdental papilla.
These papillae are going to be more wedge shaped. We, of course, then articulate into that concave area. Do we all remember from hygiene school when our faculty used to say, “don't forget to angulate your probe into the col”? We know, of course, that col is that interdental concave area in between the buccal and lingual or facial and lingual papillae that col represents the fusion of those inner proximal epithelium of adjacent teeth. It should be notated that that col area is an area that is non keratinized, which is why it's so easy for our sulcular epithelium or our sulcular lining to easily ulcerate if there's a place of infection and our probe is articulating into that area. We know that if there's a diastema that's present, for example, or a loss of contact in between two adjacent teeth, that that interdental papilla could be absent and there is no col to angulate into. So we're, of course, going to be utilizing the architecture and anatomy of the interdental space as a guide for us.
Internal papillae has been important for us to observe because we must remember that a healthy tissue apparatus or a healthy tissue attachment is going to be firmly bound into that CEJ and that interdental col essentially, or that interdental papillae rather creates that kind of bulk of the sulcus that protects the tooth structure.
Stay tuned as we continue our conversation around periodontal anatomy.
This has been another episode of Fast Facts - Perio Edition with Katrina Sanders, RDH. Please feel free to reach me on Instagram @thedentalwinegenist or on my website Cheers.
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Thank you for listening to another episode of Fast Facts - Perio Edition, brought to you in part by DentistRX makers of the InteliSonic line of power brushes. Find out more by visiting their website at We'll see you next week for another Fast Fact!

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