Greek: enteron = intestine; amoibe = change; Latin: gingiva = gingiva, gums.
Worldwide, common; especially frequent in cases of lacking or reduced mouth hygiene.
This amoeba, which reaches a size of 5–30 μm, is found in dental plaques of more than 50 % of the world population. The trophozoites show a strict separation of the hyaline ectoplasm from the granular endoplasm, which contains the cell organelles and the food vacuoles. The nucleus looks similar to that of Entamoeba histolytica, since the nucleoplasm is condensed at the periphery of the nucleus and the nucleolus is also situated centrally. Feeding is done by phagocytosis of bacterial and host cellular remnants especially in cases of inflammations. Cysts had never been observed and the membrane bound trophozoites do not survive the passage of the intestine. Thus transmission must run on oral contact during kissing or due to common use of spoons, teeth brushes, etc.