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Just Ask the Expert: Is gingival hyperplasia reversible?


Is hyperplasia reversible, and, if so, how many weeks or months does it take?

Is hyperplasia reversible, and, if so, how many weeks or months does it take?

Dr. Carmichael welcomes dental questions from veterinarians and technicians.

To ask your question, e-mail: vm@advanstar.com

With the subject line: Dental Questions

Q: My dog had been on amlodipine to control his hypertension (most likely secondary to protein-losing nephropathy). He had developed severe gingival hyperplasia-so bad that he could no longer close his mouth.

About two weeks ago, I switched him to Prazosin. However, I was just curious if the hyperplasia is reversible, and, if so, how many weeks or months does it take?

 Thank you very much.

A: I have seen numerous examples of gingival hyperplasia develop as a side effect to amlodipine (Norvasc) administration. In the cases where we were able to discontinue or switch drugs, the hyperplasia often resolved on its own in 2 to 3 weeks. If not, one treatment of gingivectomy surgery is effective. In cases where it is not possible to switch drugs and we have performed gingivectomy, the gum overgrowth returns very rapidly.

For your patient, where you have been able to change drugs, I would give it a month. If the gingival tissue has not returned to normal, perform gingivectomy, and you should be fine.

Daniel T. Carmichael, DVM, DAVDC

Veterinary Medical Center

75 Sunrise Highway

West Islip, NY 11795

The intent of Just Ask the Expert is to address non-urgent medical questions and to share this information through the Web site with other practitioners. The recommendations are for informational purposes only. It is each clinician's responsibility to carefully weigh these recommendations and determine the right course of action for each patient. Please verify any drug dosages discussed. Questions may be edited for style and length.

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