Causes of Gum Overgrowth
Gum overgrowth usually occurs when your gum tissues respond aggressively to irritants like plaque or tartar. Instead of leading to receding gums, gum disease can trigger excessive growth of gum tissue, although receding gums may often follow.
But what causes your gums to respond this way? For some people, the condition is genetic. When this is the case, there’s no identifiable cause that we can look to, and we just have to deal with the consequences. A rarer form of gingival overgrowth, called gingival fibromatosis, isn’t related to gum disease. Healthy, pink gum tissue grows excessively, completely covering teeth if it’s not removed.
Gum overgrowth is also a side effect of some medications. The medications most commonly linked with gum overgrowth are the anticonvulsant phenytoin, the immunosuppressant cyclosporin, and a number of calcium-channel blockers.
Gum overgrowth can also be the result of systemic changes in your health. Pregnancy is one of the most common, but other hormonal imbalances and leukemia have also been linked to gum overgrowth.
If you’re experiencing swollen gums around one tooth, it can be from gum disease, an abscessed tooth, or from food debris stuck under your gums.
Another cause of gum overgrowth, or swollen gums in the back of the mouth, is pericoronitis. Pericoronitis is swelling or inflammation of the gum disease and usually occurs around the wisdom teeth. This condition resolves and can be prevented with wisdom tooth extraction.
Lastly, if you have swollen gums behind your front teeth, or gums growing over your teeth, it can also be from gingival hyperplasia. Gingival hyperplasia is gum overgrowth that’s a direct result of inflammation.