Change of gums from a thin, well-adapted, continuous
covering around the teeth to a thick swollen red mass, may
not only appear unsightly, but also acts as a platform for
further destruction of healthy teeth and supporting bone.
1. Most common cause is infection of the “gingiva”, by
a thin covering of food and bacteria on the tooth surface
called “Plaque”. The bacterial content of this plaque
trigger a response from the gingiva, which results in a
swelling. The swelling is caused by accumulation of white
blood cells and fluids, which in turn counteracts the
action of the bacteria.
2. Due to certain normal condition such as pregnancy and
puberty, there is swelling of the gingiva seen. This
swelling is an abnormal response to the normal bacteria
present in the mouth. The abnormal response is a result of
hormonal changes or variation seen during the
3. Certain disease or deficiency condition may also result
in swollen gingiva
- Vitamin C deficiency.
- Tumors or abnormal growth on the gingiva, which
may be harmless or, can be cancerous.
4. Certain drugs used by the patient may result in
increased size of the gingiva as a side effect.
E.g. 1. Phentoin used in epileptic Fits. 2. Nifidipine
used for blood pressure.
1. Pain may or may not be present.
2. If the cause is infection then, the initial stage is
indicated by the presence of bright red gingiva.
- As the infection progresses the color changes from red
to bluish red to deep blue.
3. The gingiva becomes soft and spongy; rarely it may
become thickened due to formation of scar tissue.
4. Bleeding of the gingiva is another common symptom in
the advanced stage.
5. Swelling caused by the drugs is usually very hard and
thick. The gingiva will become swollen even after
treatment of the swelling. The swelling occurs only when
the drug is administered for a certain period of time.