Hereditary Gingival Fibromatosis: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Hereditary gingival fibromatosis is a rare, slowly progressive pathology that usually occurs during the eruption of permanent teeth or even at birth. Very often, the painful condition is accompanied by an increase in blood supply to the gums, which often causes bleeding when chewing solid food. Swollen gums cause painful reactions.
If left untreated, this disease not only significantly reduces a person’s quality of life, but can also lead to osteoporosis and destruction of interdental septa. In addition, swollen gums make oral hygiene difficult. This can lead to the formation of plaque between the teeth and create a favorable environment for the development of various diseases in the dental system.
What is Hereditary Gingival Fibromatosis
Gingival fibromatosis is an uncontrollable increase in tissue in the gum and periodontal area. This condition can be either hereditary or acquired and is characterized by a progressive course that requires surgical correction. Children may also experience problems with tooth growth and severe malocclusion.
There is no unambiguous definition of the reasons why gingival fibromatosis develops. Pathology occurs in men, women, and children, regardless of age. However, there are certain patterns in the development of the disease. Dentists identify the following gingival fibromatosis causes:
- genetic pathology – single gene mutations;
- blood diseases;
- long-term use of certain medications;
- hormonal disorders.
Surgery can also provoke gingival enlargement. Often, it also has associated diseases – the formation of periodontal pockets, bone atrophy, loss of healthy teeth and impaired chewing function.
Gingival fibromatosis often progresses through three stages of development. The initial stage is characterized by an increase in inter-dental gum, which covers a third of the tooth crown in the affected area. Then hypertrophied gum tissue appears, covering the crown part of the tooth by half. In the severe stage, most of the tooth surface is affected by fibrous tissue. Gingival fibromatosis is also divided into local, when the affected area is limited to one or two teeth, and generalized when the disease affects the entire dentition.
Diagnosis of Hereditary Gingival Fibromatosis
Gingival overgrowth affects the outer (buccal) and inner (lingual) areas of the gums, affecting one or both jaws. The general surface of the gums, the gingival margin adjacent to the tooth, as well as the interdental papillae, are affected. Gingival hypertrophy is often not diagnosed immediately. The pathology at the very beginning of development may look like gum inflammation. The characteristics of gingival fibromatosis are quite similar:
- change in the position of the gum edge;
- filling interdental spaces with soft tissues;
- hyperemia, change in gum color;
- compaction of connective tissues.
The diagnosis of gingival fibromatosis involves examining the mouth at the dentist's office. The mucous membranes are checked for soreness, color shade, tissue density and their level relative to the tooth crown. It is classified as a tumor disease, so during the examination it is important to differentiate it from other types of neoplasms. Additional diagnostics, biopsy and histology, as well as x-rays, are prescribed.
Often the first signs of fibromatosis go unnoticed by the patient. The absence of pain and slight enlargement of the gums make the initial stages of the disease barely noticeable. However, over time, the gums begin to grow, forming false pockets, making oral hygiene difficult. The pathological process also covers the interdental septa. All this significantly worsens the aesthetics of a smile. Bleeding also occurs while eating. The growth of connective tissue interferes with proper dental hygiene, leading to the formation of plaque. In advanced cases, bone tissue atrophy is possible, which leads to tooth loss.
Hereditary Gingival Fibromatosis Treatment
For successful treatment of drug and hormonal forms of the disease, it is sufficient to eliminate the underlying cause (replacement of medication, elimination of hormone imbalance). The main method of hereditary gingival fibromatosis treatment is a regular surgical intervention with a scalpel or laser. Moreover, each course of surgical intervention is carried out in stages and takes several weeks.
This method of gingival fibromatosis treatment includes several stages:
- Preparing for surgery. The specialist examines the patient's mouth and applies local or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of each case.
- Removal of fibroids using a scalpel or laser. During the procedure, damage to surrounding tissue is minimized and the gum structure remains as normal as possible.
- Post-care and recovery. After surgery, the gums are closed with stitches to prevent infection. The NY dentist provides instructions on how to care for the wound and prevent possible complications. In some cases, cosmetic correction may be necessary to change the form of the gums and restore the aesthetics of the smile.
In addition to improving your smile, this medical intervention can also significantly improve your quality of life. Addressing gum problems can help prevent painful chewing, improve your ability to speak, and reduce discomfort associated with daily activities. However, it is worth remembering that with idiopathic gum hyperplasia, relapses are possible. Therefore, it is important to approach this problem comprehensively. After treatment, you should visit your doctor regularly to monitor your level of oral care. Only in this way can you reduce the risk of the problem returning and maintain optimal gum health.
Prevention of fibromatosis should be carried out throughout the entire period of growth and bite formation in children. The main attention should be paid to oral hygiene, including the removal of dental plaque. Additionally, you should avoid traumatizing the mucous membranes with rough food or hard toothbrushes. Regular visits to the dentist's office will allow you to promptly identify the first signs of the disease and prevent complications of the disease. You shouldn’t put off going to the dentist until the last moment – it’s better to go to the dentist at the first sign of problems.
Article Approved by:
Oleg Goncharov General Dentist, DDS