Colorimetric distribution of human attached gingiva and alveolar mucosa

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Abstract

Statement of problem

Few studies have investigated the colorimetric distribution of gingival color, including the posterior area and alveolar mucosa.

Purpose

The purpose of this in vivo study was to investigate the distribution of colorimetric values in different areas of gingiva and to determine its relationship to colorimetric findings of the tooth and skin in a young Korean population.

Material and methods

Participants included 40 periodontally healthy adults (22 men and 18 women) 25 to 36 years of age. Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage values (CIELab: L* lightness, a* green-red, and b* blue-yellow) were measured using a colorimeter at a total of 23 sites for each participant, including attached gingiva (AG) and alveolar mucosa (AM) in the maxillary and mandibular and incisor and molar regions, maxillary central incisor, and skin points of the glabella, cheek, and inner upper arm.

Results

AG showed higher L* and lower a* values than AM. AG demonstrated higher L* and lower a* values in the maxillary region than in the mandibular region and higher b* values in the incisor region than in the molar region. AM revealed higher L* and lower a* and b* values in the incisor region than in the molar region. Positive significant correlations were found for L* between the skin area and AM and for b* between the skin area and AG.

Conclusions

The colorimetric values of AG and AM differ according to the area, possibly as a result of differences in anatomic and histologic distribution that influence optical properties.

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