The gingival fibers are the connective tissue fibers that inhabit the gingival tissue adjacent to teeth and help hold the tissue firmly against the teeth.[1] They are primarily composed of type I collagen, although type III fibers are also involved.

These fibers, unlike the fibers of the periodontal ligament, in general, attach the tooth to the gingival tissue, rather than the tooth to the alveolar bone.

Functions of the gingival fibers

The gingival fibers accomplish the following tasks:[1]

Gingival fibers and periodontitis

In theory, gingival fibers are the protectors against periodontitis, as once they are breached, they cannot be regenerated. When destroyed, the gingival sulcus (labelled G in the diagram) increases in depth apically, allowing more debris and bacteria to remain in intimate contact with the delicate sulcular and junctional epithelia for longer times.

Types of gingival fibers

The gingival fibers, (H), extend from the cementum (B) into the attached gingiva. Some fibers extend coronally into the crest of the free gingiva, some horizontally, and still other extend horizontally over the crest of the alveolar bone, (C), and then apically to connect on the facial aspect of the buccal plate of the alveolar bone.

There are three groups within which gingival fibers are arranged:


  1. ^ a b c d Itoiz ME, Carranza FA (2002). "The Gingiva". In Newman MG, Takei HH, Carranza FA (eds.). Carranza’s Clinical Periodontology (9th ed.). Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company. pp. 26–7.