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Mouth Diseases

Red Mole on Gum

12/18/2009

Question:

I have had porceleon veneers on my teeth for about 6 years now. Several months ago, I noticed a bump that had formed on my upper gum. just above my teeth. It was about half the size of a pea. It didn`t hurt, it was just there. About 2 weeks ago, that bump turned into something that looks like a red mole on the gum. It still doesn`t hurt, when I brush, floss or use my waterpik, it doesn`t bleed. Though it`s not big, I consider to be big for the inside of my mouth.

Answer:

What you are describing sounds like what is called a gingival epulis, a fancy term for a "gum bump". These bumps are usually related to or associated with local irritation or inflammation (something that can certainly happen around the edge of a porcelain veneer nearest the gum tissue). There are a couple of specific names given to these benign growths, but all of them behave in about the same manner and may exhibit slow, gradual enlargement.

Unfortunately, although benign, your red bump is unlikely to go away on its own. You should check with your dentist or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and plan to have the bump surgically removed.  An added benefit of having the bump removed will be that the tissue can be processed and examined under the microscope to provide you and your surgeon with a final diagnosis.
At the same time the bump is taken off, it will be important to have the edge of the veneer checked and smoothed/polished if necessary.

Good luck!

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Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University