What Is Gingival Enlargement?

Gingival enlargement is the increase of the gum (gingiva) size. It usually happens as a result of gingival disease. The disease affects the gum tissue, causing the gum to swell, become red, shiny, and soft. It may also cause the gum to bleed. In some cases, especially the non-inflamed gingival enlargement, the gum may be purple or dark red in color.

Causes of Gingival Enlargement

This condition may be a result of gum infections such as periodontitis, gingivitis, and bacterial plaque, smoking, poor oral hygiene, overcrowded teeth, mouth breathing, hormonal state (puberty and pregnancy), an insufficient amount of Vitamin C in the body and other general body infections like HIV and diabetes. Some medications have also been known to cause this problem such as calcium channel blockers, phenytoin, some anticonvulsants, and ciclosporin. Though it is not common, antidepressants and antibiotics may also lead to this condition.

Some people have, unfortunately, inherited this condition from family genetics. In this case, it may be due to some rare health conditions that may be existent during birth. These conditions include:

  • Fucosidosis
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses
  • Infantile systemic hyalinosis
  • Aspartyl glycosaminuria
  • I-cell disease
  • Primary amyloidosis
  • hereditary fibromatosis
  • Pfeiffer syndrome.

Some people may get localized gingival enlargement from gingival granular cell tumor, tuberous sclerosis, Fabry disease, Sturge-Weber angiomatosis, and Cowden syndrome. Blood conditions are also another cause. They may include aplastic anemia, lymphoma, and leukemia.


If one has gingival enlargement, he or she may experience symptoms such as interference in chewing or talking, bad oral odor (halitosis), discomfort, and sometimes, an unsightly appearance.


There are various treatments for gingival enlargement that vary depending on the cause of the condition. The treatment may involve bacterial plaque removal, ultrasound treatments, and surgical removal of enlarged gum tissue.

It is crucial to be highly cautious of your oral health at all times. Contact us for more information.