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To develop a protocol for harvesting ex vivo samples of gingival-biofilm consortia and to investigate their basic characteristics.Gingival epithelial cells with attached biofilm were collected from healthy subjects by taking a smear. The bacterial viability was estimated via the alteration of the membrane permeability and metabolic activity via the double/single-stranded nucleic acid ratio using a confocal laser-scanning microscope. Morphological analysis was performed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Additionally, microbiological estimations were made. The electron microscopy revealed fimbriae-mediated adhesion and the formation of a biofilm matrix. Most bacteria were viable and had a high metabolic activity.The presented study offers an easy to follow approach for harvesting samples of gingival-biofilm consortia. The latter differs considerably from the supragingival plaque in viability and zonal distribution. Related to free-living and in vitro-grown biofilms, the gingiva-associated biofilm revealed an atypically high metabolic activity.Biofilm fragments should possess the basic features of the entire gingiva-associated biofilm; which as yet cannot be simulated in vitro. Thus, samples of ex vivo gingival-biofilm consortia can be used to investigate the resistance of oral biofilms against antibiotics and biocides.