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Gum Diseases

Red striations and blotches on gums



About a year ago my wife started noticing deep red lines in her gum tissue. Sometimes the lines would grow, at other times they would seem to be shrinking or disappering only to reappear in other areas of her gums. Some become blotches and look similar to the trench mouth picture on the Mediplus website, although not as extensive. She has seen two dentists and an oral surgeon who had never seen anything like it. The oral surgeon did a painful biopsy but failed to get a usable piece of tissue. She flosses and brushes regularly and has nice looking teeth, but because of her sensitivity to the air or water used to rinse during the cleaning process, has not had a dental cleaning in many years. The striations were not painful when this first appeared but have become more painful as the condition progressed and expanded. She takes Lunesta for the past couple of years for sleep aid and has for most of the last year has had an acid reflux problem that doctors recently think may be caused by a hiatal hernia.

Red is located high on gums under lips, not along tooth line. Dentist`s tried anti biotics and steroids. Tiny dropets of blood sometimes ooze out of the inflamed areas most notable after brushing teeth. Pain has progressed to a throb and burn, affects nerves causing tooth ache sensation. Approximately two months ago, It almost entirely dissappeared for a week or two but then cmae back in full force.

Does anynoe at your organization have any idea what may be causing the problem? Thank you for your time.


It sounds like a mucogingival disorder that needs to be evaluated by a periodontist. A periodontist may refer her to an oral pathologist and/or a dermatologist.

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University