What are Epulides?

An Epulis is a 'lump on the gum'.  Epulides are the most
common type of lump on the gum and can best be
described as long-term inflamed
hyperplasia (an excessive
growth of normal cells).

Epulides come in a number of forms - fibrous epulides,
pyogenic granulomata, giant-cell granulomata and denture
granuloma / hyperplasia

They are caused by trauma (repeated chewing of a lip or
tongue) and long-term irritation or friction by such things as
badly fitting dentures, fillings and crowns, plaque and rough
tooth edges.

In more than 80% cases, an
epulis will form in front of the
molars (large back teeth) and they are more common on
the upper jaw than the lower.  
Epulides are more common
in women than in men.

Fibrous Epulides

These growths can appear as either a flat mass or have a

They are normally the same colour and texture as the gum
around the growth but the surface of the
epulis may be
ulcerated and covered by a yellow, fibrous membrane.

This type of
epulis affects a wide age range of people but
most patients are between 11 and 40-years old.
Epulis on the lower left gum / inter-proximal area LL2 - LL3
Vascular Epulides (Pyogenic Granuloma & Pregnancy Epulis)

Under the microscope, the Pyogenic Granuloma and the Pregnancy Epulis look
the same.

They appear as soft, deep reddish-purple swellings and are often ulcerated.  They
are found mostly on the gums but can also be seen on the tongue, cheek and lips
as a result of trauma.  They may bleed, either spontaneously or if they are touched
or knocked.
Photo of a Pregnancy Epulis in the inter-proximal area of the UR3 - UR4
Photos of Pyogenic Granulomata
Pregnancy epulides can arise anytime during pregnancy.  While they may often
recur (despite removal) during the pregnancy, they may disappear after the baby is

After the birth, some
pregnancy epulides will become fibrous epulides.

How are they treated?

They are surgically removed under Local Anæsthetic as in a biopsy.

Useful Websites:

Wikipedia (Pyogenic Granuloma)

Wikipedia (Epulis)

Simply Teeth

DermNet NZ (Pyogenic Granuloma)

DermNet NZ (Epulis)

Emedicine.com (Oral Fibromata & Fibromatoses)

Emedicine (Oral Pyogenic Granuloma)

Useful Articles:

Maj Ked Gigi (Dent J) 2005.  Epulis & Pyogenic Granuloma with Occlusal

J Oral Sci 2006.  Oral Pyogenic Granuloma - A Review

BJOMS 2009.  Short communication.  Oral Pyogenic Granuloma.  A review of 137

Open Dent J 2012.  Pyogenic Granuloma - Hyperplastic Lesion of the Gingiva.
Case Reports

Ind J Multidisciplinary Dent 2012.  Case Reports.  Pregnancy Epulis

BAD Guidelines 2013.  Pyogenic Granuloma

Patient.co.uk 2013.  Pyogenic Granuloma

Dentistry 2014.  Case Reports.  Oral Pyogenic Granuloma after Tongue Piercing
Use - Case Report
Last Updated 6th April 2015