Epulis (Peripheral odontogenic fibroma) is a nonspecific term that refers to any localized, exophytic growth on the gingiva.
These growths are visually indistinguishable from gingival hyperplasia.
Epulides are a benign tumour that arise from the periodontal ligament and are categorized based on on the degree of mineralization.
A number of odontogenic tumors have been described in the veterinary literature:
- Focal fibrous hyperplasia (fibromatous epulis) - gingival involvement, commonly observed in the rostral aspect of the maxilla
- Acanthomatous ameloblastoma (acanthomatous epulis) - gingival and bone involvement, commonly observed in the rostral aspect of the mandible in the Golden Retriever, Akita, Cocker Spaniel, Shetland Sheepdog
- Giant cell granuloma (giant cell epulis) - usually confined to periodontal region of one or a number of teeth
- Odontogenic (dentigerous) cysts - usually localized to a single tooth, sometimes associated with unerupted teeth - predisposition in the Boxer
Clinically affected dogs usually present with varying degrees of dysphagia, halitosis, gum bleeding and ptyalism. Visually confirmed growths can be observed, which is usually the primary reason for presentation at a veterinary clinic.
Diagnosis is usually based on visual inspection and radiography of the facial region (usually shows soft-tissue opacity in the the gingiva region with varying degrees of mineralization), but histological analysis is usually definitive.
Treatment usually requires surgical extirpation of the lesions, sometimes requiring mandibulectomy with adjunct radiation in severe cases.
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