Fibro-Epithelial Polyps & Oral Fibromata
(Irritation Fibromas, Focal Fibrous Hyperplasia & Fibrous Epulides)
What are Fibro-Epithelial Polyps?

A Fibro-Epithelial Polyp is a very common, firm, painless swelling found mainly on the inside of the cheeks, lips and
tongue.  It represents a reactive, localised ‘scarring’ due to trauma or local irritation.

What are the Signs & Symptoms of a Fibro-Epithelial Polyp?

It may have a narrow stalk or be a flat mass; its size can vary from a few millimetres to more than 1cm across.

Once established, the
polyp doesn't appear to grow in size with time (unless repeatedly traumatised).  
Occasionally, the surface is white due to mild
Frictional Keratosis (thickening of the skin in response to chronic
irritation / trauma).
Photos of FEP & Oral Fibroma on the right tongue & cheek
What are the causes of Fibro-Epithelial Polyp?

They are thought to be caused by minor trauma, cheek or lip biting.

A wide age range of people can be affected by these polyps.

How are they treated?

They can be left but normally they are surgically removed.

Do they come back?

They tend not to recur unless the predisposing factors (such as cheek or lip biting) initiate a new polyp.

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DermNet NZ
Last Updated 13th October 2011