The gums, technically referred to as the gingiva, can be classified into three types: marginal (free or unattached; gingiva libra), attached (gingiva fixa), and interdental. The gums are tightly attached to the teeth (attached gingiva).
They are pale pink in color with a characteristic orange-peel appearance, which is indicative of healthy gums. As we move upward towards the teeth, this pattern disappears.
This area is the marginal or unattached gingiva. It can be moved with a probe, whereas the attached gingiva cannot be moved. The relevance of the attached gingiva was controversial for a long time. Earlier, it was assumed that it protected the teeth against mechanical strain caused by chewing motions.
Inadequate height of the attached gingiva was believed to promote gingival recession. Through animal testing and long-term studies, it was shown that the presence or lack of adequate attached gingiva had no relevant influence on the development of periodontal diseases.
However, if the attached gingiva is missing, it causes increased plaque accumulation.
If there is very little attached gingiva remaining, and an implant is required in that area, the punching implantation method should not be used because it would completely eliminate the remaining attached gingiva.