EPULIS : What is it? Types and its various causes

Here’s the translation while maintaining the style tags in the paragraphs: Today we want to talk to you about this injury that can appear on our gums or on the rest of the soft tissues of our mouth. It’s a white and flaccid-looking cyst, which appears as a small sore and is usually benign. However, we must know that the epulis grows rapidly, causing pain, discomfort when chewing, and even bleeding. Therefore, it’s necessary to quickly seek out a specialist as soon as we detect it or believe it may be this type of injury.

What Causes Epulis?

There isn’t a single cause for the appearance of epulis. In some cases, it appears due to the rubbing of a poorly fitted dental prosthesis. But it can also appear, for example, during the first months of pregnancy due to the increase in estrogen or in younger patients due to tartar buildup.

Types of Epulis

  • Congenital: it usually occurs on the alveolar ridge of the upper jaw or on the jaw of a newborn. It could cause breathing difficulties or feeding problems. For this reason, and although there are cases where it disappears on its own, surgical removal is usually recommended.
  • Fissured: in this case, it occurs due to irritation and generally is a lesion that appears in patients without teeth, and wearers of poorly fitted removable dental prostheses, as explained earlier.
  • Pregnancy: due to the increase in estrogen (female hormones) during the first months of pregnancy, an epulis may appear.
  • Giant cell: it is the most common variant and occurs mainly in young people. It can be due to many things such as a complicated tooth extraction, some type of chronic infection, tartar buildup, etc…
We want to focus today on these last two. Pregnancy epulis, as explained above, usually appears during the first trimester of gestation due to hormonal changes. In most cases, it usually disappears on its own when the woman’s body regains its hormonal balance, so surgical intervention shouldn’t be necessary initially. However, if the epulis interferes too much with chewing, bleeds, or frequently suppurates, surgical treatment could be performed from the second trimester of pregnancy. If it doesn’t cause too much discomfort during pregnancy but persists after childbirth, surgical removal should also be considered. As for the second case, giant cell epulis, it has a higher prevalence in adolescence. It is mainly derived from an excessive presence of tartar on the teeth and gums due to poor hygiene or it can also appear after complex extractions, causing inflammation in the gums leading to this problem.

Can I Prevent Its Appearance?

As we always say, prevention is the key to minimizing the problem, so the main thing will be to find the cause that triggers it and eliminate or correct it so it doesn’t worsen. That’s why it’s so important to attend the check-ups recommended by our specialists, so they can observe the state of our mouth and correct what is causing the problem. Here are some tips to prevent its appearance or prevent it from becoming a bigger problem.
  • Carrying out good practices of dental hygiene is absolutely fundamental. Brushing your teeth regularly and of course using dental floss to remove plaque that cannot be removed with the brush.
  • Regularly visit your dentist. As we mentioned, these check-ups are extremely important so the specialist can see what our needs are and proceed to address them, such as performing oral prophylaxis to remove tartar.
  • If you have gingivitis or periodontitis, you should be aware that it will be more common for these types of injuries to occur, so it’s essential to undergo your periodontal treatments.

And once we have it, how can or should we treat it?

Once we have detected the presence of an epulis in our mouth, we will go to our specialist to confirm the diagnosis and request the relevant tests to proceed with its surgical removal if necessary. We must bear in mind that, in addition to surgical intervention, for its extraction the specialist must identify what has caused the lesion and correct the problem to prevent it from happening again in the future. Diagnosis is crucial so the epulis doesn’t reach more severe stages. As we always say, both in this case and if you have any other dental problem, prevention and timing are key. The longer we take to detect the problem, the more complex the solution will be.
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