(Latin: to close, to enclose, to cover)

Inflammation of the gingiva covering a partially erupted (broken out) tooth.

The gingiva is the tissue (covered by mucous membrane) of the jaws that surrounds the bases of the teeth.

operculum (s), opercula (pl)
1. Any lid or covering; such as, the narrow opening at the top of the thoracic cage bordered by the sternum and the first ribs of the body.
2. The flexible bony flap covering the gills of bony fish.
3. A flap covering an aperture in the spore capsules of mosses and some fungi.
4. A lid, or flap, covering an aperture; such as, the gill cover in some fish or the horny shell cover in snails or other mollusks.