Dental Education Lecture: Gum Tumor

Gum tumor is not very common.  It happens more often in ladies.  Mrs. He is at her early forties. She has had uterus and ovary removal and is on hormone replacement therapy. A year ago a tumor develops in her gums.  It is removed, but it comes back in about six months (Fig.1).  Although previous biopsy confirms that the tumor is benign (not cancer), the presence of the tumor is troublesome, causing gum bleeding when she eats and brushes.  She dares not to brush that area.  You can see a lot of plaque (arrowhead in Fig.1).  She decides to let us remove the tumor again.  Before surgery, X-ray does not show any tooth or bone abnormality.

After tumor removal, a special dressing is placed on the surgical area to stop bleeding and protect the wound (Fig.2).  The dressing comes out by itself about two to three weeks later. 

The wound heals pretty well 1.5 months after surgery (Fig.3).  More surprising is that there is no plaque at all.  It appears that she can brushes and flosses normally after gum tumor removal.  Keeping good oral hygiene is what a patient can do to prevent gum tumor from coming back again.

Unfortunately. Mrs. He forgets about flossing after a while.  She does not return to dental office for cleaning for almost two years.  Although bleeding tumor does not return, the gums looks a little more bulky (Fig.4: arrowhead) than neighboring ones.  Once again, daily self and periodic professional cleaning is important in prevention of gum tumor from coming back.

 Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 11/11/2009, last revision 08/25/2011