Gingival hyperplasia can be simply defined as the overgrowth of the gums, medically termed as gingiva. It is a type of soft tissue found in the mouth. The enlarged gums are often characterized by firmness and non-painful swelling. In several cases, the enlarged gums cover the teeth. The symptoms may or may not involve bleeding and tenderness in the gums. These two symptoms are present when gingiva is related to gingivitis. Bleeding and tenderness occur due to abnormal enlargement of the gums. Gingival hyperplasia is also referred to as fibromatous periodontal hyperplasia.
Overgrown gums in cats and dogs is also quite common. Dogs belonging to large and giant breeds are found to be the major sufferers. Various cases of canine hyperplasia are reported to have familial inheritance. They include, Great Dane, Doberman pinscher, Boxer, and Dalmatian.
It can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from pregnancy to general diseases. Many victims have a genetic predisposition for this condition; it runs in their families. It is one of the symptoms of fetal valproate syndrome and several metabolic disorders. Prolonged exposure to bacterial plaque and medication are another major causes of gingiva. The drugs that can give rise to enlarged gums, due to prolonged usage, are nifedipine, cyclosporine, nitrendipine, etc.
People suffering from overgrown gums, seek medical treatment mainly because of two reasons; first, it can make eating difficult and second, it is aesthetically unpleasing. A doctor takes help of a number of diagnostic tests to determine the presence of the above condition in a patient. Some of such tests are baseline tests that include a complete blood count, urinalysis, biochemical profile, etc. He also studies the data obtained by inspection and examination of the patient's oral cavity and biopsy of the gingiva. The condition can be diagnosed by a dentist, but you may have to visit another medical specialist to determine the exact cause and get an effective plan of treatment.
The treatment involves curing the underlying factor responsible for the condition. Hence, exact determination of the causative factor is a must for a complete and permanent treatment. Some severe cases may need surgical treatment for the removal of the affected gums. It may include reconstructive surgery to repair the remaining healthy gums. Gingivectomy is also another effective treatment method for hyperplasia of the gums. It is a dental procedure that involves trimming of the enlarged gums to their normal, aesthetically pleasing, and easy-to-clean size.
If you feel that the intake of certain medicines, is the reason behind your enlarged gums, you should stop their ingestion. If those drugs are vital for curing some sort of ailment, consult your doctor and follow his recommendation in this matter. Maintaining a sound oral health is essential in preventing a wide variety of dental and other medical sicknesses. Therefore, take the signs and symptoms with utmost concern and visit a dentist to get effective dental care and attention.