gingival hyperplasia (Gum Growing Between Teeth) _ Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
gingival hyperplasia is Gum growing between teeth never looks aesthetically pleasing. In fact, they reduce the allure of a smile. It is the reason why people with overgrown gum often find tissue around their teeth and look for its cure and treatment.
While gum recession is one of the contrary and problematic dental conditions as it leads to black visible gaps between the teeth, allowing food to get trapped, roots to get exposed, and teeth to become vulnerable to cavities, overgrown gums lead to other serious dental issues.
Let’s understand why the gum grows between the teeth, what are the causes behind the condition and its preventive measures.
What Is Gingival Hyperplasia (Gum Growing Between Teeth)?
The overgrowth of gum tissues around the teeth is a dental condition called gingival hyperplasia (1). Medically, it is also termed gingival overgrowth, gum enlargement, hypertrophy, and hypertrophic gingivitis. Usually, it results from poor oral hygiene, but many other reasons can be blamed for the condition.
When gum starts surrounding the teeth more than required, it not only affects the way a person’s smile looks but also increases the chances of gum diseases. Moreover, teeth alignment can be drastically affected due to gum enlargement.
Usually, dental treatment is required to cure gingival hyperplasia, and in severe cases, surgery is prescribed by the doctor.
What Causes Gingival Hyperplasia? Gum Growth Between The Teeth
Gum enlargement can happen due to various reasons, some of which are listed below:
1. Gum Inflammation
a. Drug-induced inflammation
Inflammation of the gum is one of the major causes of gingival hyperplasia. This inflammation can happen for different reasons, one of which is the use of certain medications (2). If a person is prescribed antiseizure drugs, immunosuppressants, chemical channel blockers, or certain drugs that treat heart and high blood pressure-related conditions, the chances of gum inflammation increase.
However, gum grows between teeth due to inflammation as a result of medications subside once their use is restricted. Thus, drug-induced gum enlargement is not a worrisome condition and resolves gradually.
b. Inflammation due to plaque
Poor oral hygiene practices lead to the development of plaque on the teeth. When the plaque keeps building up, the tooth and gum start decaying, inflammation starts, and gum jumps surrounding the teeth. In such cases, the gum becomes tender, and a little irritation can trigger bleeding.
2. Systemic Health Issues
Besides inflammation, different health issues can also lead to gum enlargement. These health issues are:
- Crohn’s disease
Additionally, hormonal imbalance is also one of the systemic health conditions that can cause gums to swell and grow between the teeth. Since pregnancy is associated with hormonal changes in the body, pregnant women may get gingival hyperplasia. Fortunately, in such cases, gums go back to normal when the baby is delivered, and hormones come back to their normal levels.
Moreover, vitamin deficiency is also related to gum enlargement.
3. Genetic Condition or Hereditary
When gum enlargement occurs due to hereditary, it is called Hereditary gingival fibromatosis (HGF). It is a rare oral genetic condition that is passed from one progeny to another. Even though gum enlargement in such people starts from childhood, it becomes noticeable only after adulthood when gum wraps the teeth properly.
In such cases, high collagen is blamed for gum growing between the teeth. In rare conditions, major parts of the tooth surface are covered by gums.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gingival Hyperplasia?
Besides reduced aesthetic appeal, many other symptoms appear when gum grows between teeth and affects oral health. These are:
- Pain and discomfort around teeth
- Red and bleeding gums
- Tender gums
- Bad breath
- Buildup of plaque on teeth
When the condition gets severe (3), gums start wrapping around the teeth and completely cover them. It affects teeth alignment and difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene. Once the teeth get covered with gums, it becomes difficult to brush and floss. This, in turn, increases the risk of tooth decay and gum diseases.
Gum growing between teeth at an early age may hamper tooth eruption.
Treatment Of Gingival Hyperplasia (Gum Growing Between Teeth)
Working on the underlying causal factors is the first step to treating gingival hyperplasia. In the majority of cases, maintaining proper oral hygiene can help prevent a lot of painful and discomforting symptoms and resolve the problem gradually.
If the problem has arisen due to certain medication, discontinuing it will help heal the inflamed gums, and eventually, gingival hyperplasia will be cured, too.
In rare cases, the doctor may prescribe surgery to treat gum growing between teeth. It usually happens when, despite improving oral hygiene practices and stopping medications that cause gum inflammation, the problem persists. Periodontists can perform the surgery with a scalpel or laser.
Procedures that help manage gingival hyperplasia include:
- Laser excision
- Periodontal flap surgery
In all these above-mentioned procedures, the periodontists will work on the inflamed gums and try to remove them from growing between the teeth. While in some procedures, laser technique is used to accomplish the task, in others, cuts are made through electric currents, and the remaining gums are repaired.
Gum growing between teeth is not just an aesthetic concern but medical, too. Therefore, taking good care of teeth and gums by exercising healthy dental practices can help avoid the problem. When gums start covering the teeth, plaque starts building up, which eventually leads to tooth decay.
While there are many reasons that lead to gum enlargement and growing between teeth, the line of treatment is based on the underlying cause. Visit a dental expert if the condition gets worse, as surgery is the last escape to this problem.
- Gingival enlargements: Differential diagnosis and review of literature – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4568527/
- Drug-Induced Gingival Overgrowth – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538518/
- Unusual presentation of localized gingival enlargement associated with a slow-growing odontogenic myxoma – https://www.nature.com/articles/ijos201327