Sep 22 2011

Breed Predisposition to Oral Disease: The Boxer Part 5 Epulides


  • What are epulides?

    • Epulis is a term that means: any benign lesion on the gingiva.
    • A veterinary dentist usually means: a noncancerous growth coming from the ligaments that anchor a tooth in the jaw bone.
    • Epulides may be fibromatous (mostly soft tissue), ossifying (contains some bone) or acanthomatous (causes soft tissue and bone to break down).
  • What causes epulides?

    • No one really knows why epulides grow.
    • Boxers seem to be predisposed to developing fibromatous epulides.
  • Are all oral masses epulides?

    • Growths on the gums may be caused by gingival hyperplasia, foreign body reactions, infections or tooth resorption.
    • Not all oral masses are benign. Cancerous tumors may also look like epulides.
  • What effect do epulides have?

    • Growths on the gums can have the same effects as gingival hyperplasia.
    • Acanthomatous epulides grow very large and cause bone and teeth to dissolve.
  • How are they diagnosed?

    • Step 1: look for thickened gingiva, oral odor, drooling, “disappearing” teeth, and bleeding gums.
    • Step 2: take dental radiographs; sometimes a CT scan is needed to determine the true size of an acanthomatous epulis
    • Step 3: histopathology should be performed if a cancerous tumor is suspected or the affected areas do not respond as expected to conventional treatment
  • How are they treated?

    • Surgical removal of the epulis and its source is the best method of treatment.
    • Conservative surgical removal of the epulis will give it a chance to grow back.
    • Acanthomatous epulides may become cancerous if treated with radiation.


COMING SOON: Attrition

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