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Drug Induced Hyperplasia: Dynamics

Wide Variety of Cause and Effect Relationships

Hyperplasia (overgrowth of gum tissue) can occur for a variety of reasons. Click here to review an outline of different causes with representative photos of conditions.

Well Known Medication Factors

Most Common

Dilantin (phenytoin), an anti-epileptic drug used to control seizures, is one of the more widely known drugs that can stimulate the overgrowth of gum tissue.

Blood Pressure - Heart Medication

Patients who take a variety of prescription medications for controlling or managing high blood pressure can also experience gum tissue problems.

Gum Lasing Surgery
Cyclosporine Medication Effects
Cyclosporine (there are many variants) is an immunosuppressant that is often used to prevent organ rejection in people who have received a liver, kidney, or heart transplant.

For some patients who takes these meds, an unexpected side effect of gingival hyperplasia can occur ... as it did for the patient pictured here.

Other Known Medication Factors

Nifedipine, used to treat angina (chest pain) and lower hypertension (high blood pressure), similarly causes a tissue growth event for some patients. Some dental professionals in fact report a higher incidence of hyperplasia with this medication.

Nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker, relaxes or widens blood vessels which makes it easier for the heart to pump and reduces its workload. The general class of Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs) are commonly used to treat angina (heart pain), high blood pressure, and abnormal heart rhythms.

Many other calcium channel blockers:
  • Amlodipine (Norvasc)
  • Diltiazem (Cardizem LA, Tiazac)
  • Felodipine (Plendil)
  • Isradipine (Dynacirc)
  • Nicardipine (Cardene)
  • Nimodipine (Nimotop)
  • Verapamil (Covera-HS, Veralan PM, Calan)

Effective Hyperplasia Treatment

Drug or medication induced hyperplasia should be treated sooner rather than later. The encroachment of soft tissues into unwanted areas can trap harmful bacteria and actual foster the conditions for developing gingivitis and periodontitis. Left untreated for too long bone loss and tooth loss can accrue.

Click here to see a photo gallery of gingival hyperplasia cases that are NOT drug induced.

Edward Brant, DDS, MS
Reconstructive Periodontist
447 Lake Avenue
St James, NY 11780
(631) 584-4395

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