Diagram of the oral cavity: The oral cavity is another word for the mouth.

Diagram of the oral cavity: The oral cavity is another word for the mouth.

The gingivae are also known as the gums.
("Gums" is the colloquial term used in everyday English whereas "gingivae" is the anatomical term used in medical textbooks, research papers and other documents.)

The gingivae are the ridges of oral mucosa located at and surrounding the base of each tooth and so forming two continuous "gingivae", one attached to the upper-jaw and the other attached to the lower-jaw (upper jaw bones = maxillae; lower jaw bone = mandible).

The word gingivae is plural so correct for referring to both of the two gingivae.
The singular word is gingiva. Most people have both an upper gingiva and a lower gingiva.

Other words derived from gingiva / gingivae include:

  • gingivitis - meaning inflammation of the gingivae
  • gingivectomy - meaning the surgical removal of excess gum tissue.


Close Your Mouth: Buteyko Breathing Clinic self help manual [Paperback]

Oral B Braces Care Esst Kit

The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums

Ear, Nose and Throat Anatomical Chart

The gingivae are just one of the structures in the human oral cavity. See also the links to pages about other parts of the mouth.

Information about the structures of the mouth, tooth anatomy and teeth names is relev ant to the section about digestion.

The topics of digestion and teeth are included in some school e.g. GCSE and/or A-Level courses in subjects such as biology and human biology and in other courses that include human anatomy & physiology, diet, nutrition, and other health sciences.

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