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Parakeratinized Epithelium

This is another section through gingiva. Note the connective tissue papillae (A). The overlying epithelium is keratinized, but it differs in appearance from the non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium seen elsewhere in the oral cavity. This difference is due to the basophilia present in the cells of the outermost layers, the absence of a distinctive stratum granulosum and the presence of nuclei (*) in the outermost layers (absent in a stratum corneum). The term parakeratinization is used to describe the appearance of the epithelium in this section. Gingival tissue commonly has varying amounts of parakeratinized and non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium.


* - nuclei of outer epithelial layer A - connective tissue papillae

B - rete pegs of epithelium

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