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VOLUME 16 , ISSUE 7 ( July, 2015 ) > List of Articles


Scaling and Root Planning decreases the Number of Melanosomes within Keratinocytes in Human Gingiva: Ultrastructural Analysis of Three Cases

Claudia Maria Coelho Alves, Ana Vitoria Imbronito, Roberto Fraga Moreira Lotufo, Victor Elias Arana-Chavez

Citation Information : Alves CM, Imbronito AV, Lotufo RF, Arana-Chavez VE. Scaling and Root Planning decreases the Number of Melanosomes within Keratinocytes in Human Gingiva: Ultrastructural Analysis of Three Cases. J Contemp Dent Pract 2015; 16 (7):537-541.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-1718

Published Online: 01-12-2015

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2015; The Author(s).



The aim of the present report was to evaluate the number of melanosomes within keratinocytes on pigmented gingiva, after and before scaling and root planning.

Materials and methods

Inflamed gingiva biopsies were taken from three patients (group 1). Forty days after scaling and root planning, biopsies were collected from the homologous contralateral areas (group 2). Samples were fixed in 2% glutaraldehyde—2.5% formaldehyde (freshly prepared from paraformaldehyde) in 0.1 M sodium cacodylate buffer, pH 7.4 for 4 hours, and then processed for transmission electron microscopy. Eighty electron micrographs were evaluated for recording the number of granules by a cross-section grid. The granules that were on intersections were recorded as well as the points that appeared on the cytoplasm for calculating the volumetric density (Vd), i.e the volume that the melanosomes occupied into the cytoplasm of keratinocytes. The presence of melanosomes in different stages of maturation and distribution into the cells were recorded with the aid of a magnifying glass. For the statistical analysis, a student t-test was applied.


Results of the present report showed that melanosomes within keratinocytes were present in a higher number in inflamed gingiva A (11.08 ± 1.47), B (3.16 ± 0.38) and C (4.92 ± 0.89) and decreased after resolving of gingival inflammation A (9.46 ± 0.88), B (1.73 ± 0.25) and C (0.76 ± 0.18).


There is a possibility that inflammation influences the intensity of gingival melanin pigmentation.

Clinical significance

The periodontal treatment appears to have an effect on gingival melanin pigmentation.

How to cite this article

Alves CMC, Imbronito AV, Lotufo RFM, Arana-Chavez VE. Scaling and Root Planning decreases the Number of Melanosomes within Keratinocytes in Human Gingiva: Ultrastructural Analysis of three Cases. J Contemp Dent Pract 2015;16(7):537-541.

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