Development of the dento-gingival junction of the free gingival graft
Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Although numerous histological studies have been reported on the healing of the free gingival graft, little attention has been paid to the development of its relationship to the tooth. This is surprising as the placement of a graft of keratinized tissue against the tooth might be supposed to form a more effective barrier to the antigens of dental plaque. The purpose of this study was to investigate the histology of the dento-gingival junction formed from free gingival grafts. Autografts of palatal mucosa were secured coronal to the crest of the alveolar process at six recipient sites on each of four adult cynomolgus male monkeys. All procedures were carried out sequentially so as to yield postoperative specimens of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 weeks.At sacrifice all animals were perfused with 10% formalin and the specimens were prepared by routine histological methods for examination by light microscopy. By two weeks the epithelium had migrated to the tooth surface. It exhibited wide intercellular spaces and was supported by a disturbed connective tissue. By four weeks the inflammation in the connective tissue at the facial aspects of the graft had resolved and the epithelium keratinized; while at the tooth surface, the connective tissue remained inflamed and the dento-gingival junction developed over this disturbed tissue. The sulcular epithelium was not keratinized and the junctional epilhelium demonstrated wide intercellular spaces. Since the dento-gingival junction developed from a free gingival graft does not seem to provide a more effective barrier to the antigens of dental plaque than that normally found, it is suggested that the use of the free gingival graft in some periodontal procedures be seriously questioned.
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