The permanent teeth, viewed from the right.
Latin syndesmosis dentoalveolaris
TA A03.0.00.006
FMA 7495

Anatomical terminology

A gomphosis, also known as a dentoalveolar syndesmosis,[1] is a joint that binds the teeth to bony teeth sockets in the maxillary bone and mandible. The fibrous connection between a tooth and its socket is a periodontal ligament. Specifically, the connection is made between the maxilla or mandible to the cementum of the tooth.

The motion of a gomphosis is minimal, though considerable movement can be achieved over time—the basis of using braces to realign teeth. The joint can be considered a synarthrosis.[2]

The gomphosis is the only joint-type in which a bone does not join another bone, as teeth are not technically bone. In modern, more anatomical, joint classification, the gomphosis is simply considered a fibrous joint because the tissue linking the structures is ligamentous.

A gomphosis is a specialized fibrous joint in which a conical process or peg of one bone fits into a hole or socket in another bone. (gomphos is a Greek word meaning bolt). Small quantity of fibrous tissue holds the bones together. No movement is possible at such peg-and-socket joints.


  1. "dentoalveolar syndesmosis". TheFreeDictionary.com.
  2. "Articulations". Retrieved 2008-01-29.

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