Definition Swollen gums are abnormally enlarged, bulging, or protruding. Alternative Names Swollen gums; Gingival swelling Considerations Gum swelling is quite common and may involve one or many of the triangular-shaped bits of gum between nearby teeth. These sections are called papillae. Occasionally, the gums swell significantly, blocking the teeth completely. Common Causes Gingivitis Infection by a virus or fungus Malnutrition Poorly fitting dentures Pregnancy Sensitivity to toothpaste or mouthwash Scurvy Side effect of a drug such as Dilantin or phenobarbital
Reader Question: What is Bisphosphonate-Associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ)? How common is ONJ, and what are its risk factors?
Not a day goes by when these questions do not come up. It appears that a significant amount of lawyers’ advertisements as well as newspaper and magazine articles have raised public opinion and thought on the matter. Recent news coverage focuses on new lawsuits against Merck, the maker of Fosamax (alendronate sodium) , for causing deterioration of the mouth and exposure of the jaw bone. Here is a summary of the information I have been telling my patients as well as what has been released by the American College of Rheumatology.
Intravenous Bisphosphonate There are 368 cases of bisphosphonate-associated ONJ published between 1966 and January 31, 2006. Sixty percent of cases occurred after oral surgery for dental extraction or other dentoalveolar surgery, whereas the remainder occurred spontaneously, some in patients wearing dentures. Most ...
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