Gingival cells of the oral connective tissue are exposed to complex mechanical forces during mastication, speech, tooth movement and orthodontic treatments. Especially during wound healing following surgical procedures, internal and external forces may occur, creating pressure upon the newly formed tissue. This clinical situation has to be considered when developing biomaterials to augment soft tissue in the oral cavity. In order to pre-evaluate a collagen sponge intended to serve as a substitute for autogenous connective tissue grafts (CTGs), a dynamic bioreactor system was developed. Pressure and shear forces can be applied in this bioreactor in addition to a constant medium perfusion to cell-material constructs. Three-dimensional volume changes and stiffness of the matrices were analyzed. In addition, cell responses such as cell vitality and extracellular matrix (ECM) production were investigated. The number of metabolic active cells constantly increased under fully dynamic culture conditions. The sponges remained elastic even after mechanical forces were applied for 14 days. Analysis of collagen type I and fibronectin revealed a statistically significant accumulation of these ECM molecules (P < 0.05-0.001) when compared to static cultures. An increased expression of tenascin-c, indicating tissue remodeling processes, was observed under dynamic conditions only. The results indicate that the tested in vitro cell culture system was able to mimic both the biological and mechanical environments of the clinical situation in a healing wound.