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
COMING SOON: Epulids