The aims of the present study were to establish normal gingiva in dogs, to characterize the clinical conditions prevailing and to stereologically describe the structural composition of the normal gingival tissues. Three beagle dogs were subjected to regular oral hygiene procedures during 15 weeks. Measurements of gingival fluid flow and the amounts of crevicular leukocytes served to clinically assess the gingival conditions. Semi-and ultrathin sections from biopsies of normal buccal gingival tissues from premolars were subjected to stereologic analysis based on morphometric point counting procedures. Gingival normality was achieved in two of the dogs. The normal gingival tissue in these dogs was characterized clinically by abscense of gingival fluid flow and by a minute amount of crevicular leukocytes. A gingival sulcus was most often absent. The junctional epithelium was without rete pegs, and the entire gingival connective tissue was densely filled by homogeneous collagen fiber bundles. A few isolated inflammatory cells were present in the junctional epithelium and the adjacent connective tissue. No clusters of inflammatory cells forming an infiltrate could be observed.

Stereologically, the gingival tissue comprised 48% epithelium and 52% connective tissue. The junctional epithelium occupied 10% of the gingival tissue and included a fraction of 2.8% occupied by leukocytes. The latter by volume comprised 50% neutrophilic granulocytes and mononuclear cells each. The connective tissue was composed of 67% collagen fibers, 14% free cells and 19% residual tissue. The composition of the connective tissue adjacent to the junctional epithelium differed somewhat from that of more central connective tissue fractions.