With assistance from a large Brazilian family, researchers have discovered a gene involved in hereditary gingival fibromatosis, a rare form of gum overgrowth. Pinning the disease to a mutation could also help dentists find treatments for nonhereditary enlarged gums, common in older adults and in patients taking certain medications, said the researchers. Gingival overgrowth affects about 15% of people who take calcium channel blockers, widely prescribed for hypertension, and nearly 30% of people taking cyclosporine, which is taken for immunosuppression (J Dent Res. 2000;79:1758-1764).
Vastag B. Gum Overgrowth Mutation. JAMA. 2002;287(19):2494. doi:10.1001/jama.287.19.2494-JHA20005-3-1