Structure of peripheral cementum of normal equine cheek teeth

SR Mitchell, SA Kempson, PM Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The structure of peripheral cementum of mandibular and maxillary cheek teeth was studied by gross observation, light microscopy, and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Teeth from four horses aged 4, 8, 17, and 30-years-old were examined. The cementum ob the occlusal surface was thicker on the buccal aspect when compared with the lingual aspect of mandibular teeth. The cementum of the occlusal surface was thicker on the palatal aspect when compared with the buccal aspect of maxillary teeth. There was no peripheral cementum on the interdental aspects of either mandibular or maxillary cheek teeth. In the adult tooth, cementum covered the crown and root surfaces. The peripheral cementum of the gingival region showed a dramatic increase in thickness compared with cementum covering the alveolar portion of the embedded tooth. At a microscopic level, three layers (primary, secondary, and tertiary) were identified within cementum. The increase in cementum in the gingival region was of tertiary cementum. All three layers contained vital cementocytes. There was a well-developed vascular system within the cementum. Nerve bundles were also present. Three cementoblast profiles were identified at the junction of the cementum with the periodontal ligament. The results reported in this paper show that cementum is a dynamic vital tissue. These findings should contribute to a greater understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of cemental caries and periodontal disease in the horse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Dentistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003



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