, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp 80–89 | Cite as

Clinical study on natural gingival color

  • Cristina Gómez-PoloEmail author
  • Javier Montero
  • Miguel Gómez-Polo
  • Ana María Martín Casado
Original Article


The aims of the study were: to describe the gingival color surrounding the upper incisors in three sites in the keratinized gingiva, analyzing the effect of possible factors which modulate (socio-demographic and behavioral) intersubject variability; to study whether the gingiva color is the same in all three locations and to describe intrasubject color differences in the keratinized gingiva band. Using the CIELAB color system, three reference areas (free gingival margin, keratinized gingival body, and birth or upper part of the keratinized gingiva) were studied in 259 individuals, as well as the related socio-demographic factors, oral habits and the chronic intake of medication. Shadepilot™ spectrophotometer was used. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis was performed. There are statistically significant differences between males and females for coordinates L* and a* in the middle and free gingival margin. For the b* coordinate, there are differences between males and females in the three locations studied (p < 0.05). The minimum and maximum coordinates in which the CIELAB natural gingival space is delimited are L* minima 28.3, L* maximum 65.4, a* minimum 11.1, a* maximum 37.2, b* minimum 6.9, and b* maximum 25.2*. Age, smoking, and the chronic intake of medication had no significant effect on gum color. There are perceptible color differences within the keratinized gingiva band. These chromatic differences must be taken into account if the prosthetic characterization of gingival tissue is to be considered acceptable. There are significant differences between the color coordinates of the three sites studied in the keratinized gingiva of men and women.


Natural gingival color CIELAB color space Spectrophotometry Spanish population 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Society of The Nippon Dental University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Gómez-Polo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Javier Montero
    • 1
  • Miguel Gómez-Polo
    • 2
  • Ana María Martín Casado
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of SalamancaSalamancaSpain
  2. 2.School of OdontologyUniversity Complutense of MadridMadridSpain

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