Gingival Hyperplasia Treatment Options: From Simple Cleanings to Surgery

Are you experiencing unusual growth of your gum tissue? Does it seem to cover more of your teeth than usual? If so, you may have gingival hyperplasia, a condition in which the gum tissue becomes overgrown and enlarged.
While this can often be a harmless cosmetic issue, in some cases, it can lead to oral health problems such as difficulty brushing and flossing properly, increased risk for periodontal disease and even tooth loss.

In this blog post we will explore the various treatment options available for gingival hyperplasia to help you understand the different approaches that can effectively manage this condition. 

What Is Gingival Hyperplasia?

Gingival hyperplasia may sound daunting, but it is a common condition that affects many individuals. It is characterized by an overgrowth of gum tissue, which can lead to discomfort, pain, and difficulty maintaining proper oral hygiene. It may also cause protruding bumps on the gumline around the front teeth or between the cheeks and the teeth. 

This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from genetic predisposition to certain medications or underlying medical conditions. It is not contagious. 

What Are the Different Types of Gingival Hyperplasia?

There are three main types of gingival hyperplasia: inflammatory, medication-induced and hereditary. 

  • Inflammatory: Inflammatory gingival hyperplasia is the most common type of gingival hyperplasia and is caused by chronic inflammation of the gums. This can be due to poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease, or other factors that cause irritation and swelling of the gum tissue for example around braces. The excess growth of gum tissue can make it difficult to properly clean the teeth and can lead to further inflammation and infection.
  • Medication-Induced: Some prescribed medications for migraines, seizures, autoimmune disorders and cardiovascular conditions have been shown to stimulate overgrowth of the gum tissue leading to gingival hyperplasia. It is thought that these medications interfere with the normal cell turnover process in the gums, leading to an overgrowth of tissue.
  • Hereditary: Gingival hyperplasia is one of many oral health diseases that can be linked to heredity. While these cases are rare, gingival hyperplasia can develop in early childhood as the gums progressively grow over the top of the teeth at the gumline. For some patients, the overgrowth is not prominent until adulthood.

It should be noted that there are other less common causes of gingival hyperplasia such as hormonal changes during pregnancy or puberty and certain systemic diseases like leukemia or Crohn's disease. Health conditions such as diabetes, HIV and anemia may also cause gingival hyperplasia if the underlying condition is not treated. 

What Are the Symptoms of Gingival Hyperplasia?

The most obvious symptom of gingival hyperplasia is the overgrowth of the gums on the teeth which sometimes can create an unsightly appearance that can have an impact on your self-esteem. It can also lead to other uncomfortable symptoms, including redness and tender gums, inflammation of the gumline tissue, infection, pain and discomfort of the gums, bleeding, bad breath, plaque buildup and difficulty in chewing or speaking. 

How Is Gingival Hyperplasia Diagnosed?

If you suspect that you may be experiencing gingival hyperplasia it's important to seek out a dental professional who can diagnose the condition. A dentist or periodontist can examine your gums and look for signs of hyperplasia, such as swollen or puffy gums, red or purple colouring and changes in the shape or size of your gums. 

They may also take X-rays to evaluate the severity of the condition and potential underlying causes. Depending on the severity, appearance and location of the gingival hyperplasia, a biopsy and/or blood tests may be needed to rule out localized cancer or other underlying medical conditions. A referral to a periodontist or other dental specialist may be required for treatment. 

What Are the Treatment Options for Gingival Hyperplasia?

While it can be alarming to notice changes in your gum tissue, the good news is that gingival hyperplasia is treatable. Common treatments involve:

  • Improved Oral Hygiene: Proper oral hygiene is key with gingival hyperplasia regardless of the underlying cause. Careful brushing and flossing can help to dislodge food and bacteria particles from the gums and prevent plaque buildup.
  • Gingivectomy: If the position of the gum tissue is affecting your ability to brush/floss or chew, a gingivectomy can be performed. This involves removing the diseased portion of the gum tissue from the teeth and repairing the gums. 
  • Medication Adjustments: If the gingival hyperplasia is related to certain medications you take, your healthcare provider may be able to provide an alternative solution that will treat the health condition without compromising your oral health. 
  • Professional Dental Cleaning: Regular dental visits can help to remove stubborn plaque and food particles that cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone. If you are diagnosed with gingival hyperplasia, you may require a dental cleaning once every three to four months instead.
  • Laser Surgery: A laser excision procedure, which is another technique to do a gingivectomy, can successfully remove the inflamed gum tissue. The roots of the teeth will then be examined and cleaned to remove any existing plaque. 

Essential Tips to Combat Gingival Hyperplasia

  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups to get a professional teeth cleaning 
  • Use proper brushing techniques by angling the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brushing outward from the gumline
  • Consult with your family doctor about ways you can manage your stress
  • Avoid tobacco products

Ready to Tackle Gingival Hyperplasia? Contact the Princeview Dental Group Today! 

If you’re looking for comprehensive dental care treatments, visit Princeview Dental Group. We are a full-service dental clinic in Etobicoke that offers an array of dental services including, treatment for gingival hyperplasia, teeth whitening services in Toronto, cosmetic dentistry and more. Contact us at (416) 231-4562 to schedule a consultation on how we can help you improve your oral health.

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