Sep 12 2011

Breed Predisposition to Oral Disease: The Boxer Part 4

Gingival hyperplasia:

  • What is gingival hyperplasia?

    • An increase in size and thickness of the soft tissue which surrounds a tooth results in overgrowth of the gums (gingiva).
    • Frequently, the gums grow large enough to completely cover the teeth.
  • What causes gingival hyperplasia?

    • An exaggerated reaction by the gingiva to bacteria and tartar on the teeth. Usually periodontal diseases cause gingiva to recede. Boxers have the opposite reaction.
    • Certain medications used to treat seizures, allergies, infection or high blood pressure can cause gingival hyperplasia. This is usually reversible if the medications can be stopped.
  • Can gingival hyperplasia appear for other reasons?

    • Swollen gums may be caused by tumors, warts, foreign body reactions or infections or tooth resorption.
    • Sometimes the soft tissue in the cheeks or under the tongue will also swell due to chronic irritation. This is not gingival hyperplasia.
  • What effect does gingival hyperplasia have?

    • Tartar and infection get trapped between the teeth and excess gums.
    • Progressive periodontal disease is the most common effect of gingival hyperplasia
    • If left untreated, bone and tooth loss will occur.
  • How is it diagnosed?

    • Step 1: look for thickened gingiva, oral odor, drooling, “disappearing” teeth, and other signs of periodontal disease.
    • Step 2: take dental radiographs
    • Step 3: histopathology should be performed if a tumor is suspected or the affected areas do not respond as expected to conventional treatment
  • How is it treated or prevented?

    • Daily tooth brushing and annual dental cleanings with anesthesia
    • Surgical removal and reshaping of the excess gingiva
    • Extraction of teeth with severe periodontal disease
Gingiva covering premolar teeth

Gingiva covering premolar teeth


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