Fibroma, the word may sound something similar to a type of cancer. But rest assured most fibromas are benign and non-cancerous. Fibroma in simple words is an outgrowth or overgrowth of tissue in a particular area of your body.
Fibromas are most commonly present in the oral cavity, but sometimes they also appear in the uterine or pelvic region. We will be talking about oral fibroma in this article in details.
Fibromas occur due to constant trauma. The trauma can be from a sharp tooth, an ill-fitting denture or a sharp or even dental restoration. You can find fibromas in your gums, side of your tongue and on top of your tongue.
Very rarely fibromas also form in your jaw bones of either the upper or lower jaw. In such cases, a dentist does a radiological and digital examination to confirm the diagnosis. Fibroma is not cancerous in most cases but to be sure dentists often do a biopsy of a tissue sample.
Fibromas are completely curable with a minor uncomplicated surgery. There is quick healing once the dentist removes the fibroma.
What is a fibroma?
Fibroma is an outgrowth or overgrowth of tissues in a small area. They often go undetected as they are commonly mistaken for innocent swellings. They are painless if superficial, but some fibromas have a more profound impact.
Fibromas involving your connective tissue are always unbearably painful. Fibromas in the soft tissue are mostly curable and rarely turn cancerous. The may have a viral or genetic predilection to along with trauma as the probable causes.
Bony fibromas have a vast expanse and are complicated. Complete removal may be entirely impossible, but palliative jaw resection surgery eases the pain. The prosthesis which replaces the normal jaw is of the same appearance and has the same function.
Signs and symptoms
The following signs show the possibility of fibroma –
- Swelling in a small area of your gums
- Redness in your gums
- Loose teeth
- Receding Gums
- Bleeding from gums
- Bad breath
Common causes of oral fibroma
Trauma is the leading cause behind a fibroma apart from that. Genetics might be another cause. Trauma can be due to one of the following reasons –
A sharp tooth can continuously hurt your gums and cheek if you don’t address it. Sharp tooth needs reshaping and bonding before they become a harmful agent.
Constant trauma on the same spot can irritate a portion of your tissue. Further, this continuous trauma leads to fibroma.
Uneven dental restorations
Uneven unfinished and rough dental restorations act the same as your sharp tooth does. Constant rubbing of the rough surfaces against the cheek or gums eventually leads to fibroma formation.
Common locations where you can find an oral fibroma
The following are some common sites for the development of fibromas –
The most frequent place for fibroma to form is your cheeks. The cheeks become a familiar site because they are a sufferer of constant trauma from either cheek bite or a sharp tooth.
Keep checking for any swelling or inconsistency in your cheek to keep an eye out for a probable developing fibroma.
Sides of your tongue are the second most frequent site for fibroma development. The reason being, numerous tongue bites, and trauma. Sometimes fibromas appear on the top surfaces of your tongue too.
On infrequent occasions, a fibroma might start developing in either or both of your jaw bones. These are potentially lethal and don’t get diagnosed unless they blow out of proportion.
These interfere with teeth eruption and the overall development of the facial structure.
Diagnosis of fibroma – finding out the exact location and size
Soft tissue fibromas are easy to diagnose. Your dentist might need to take a proper look at them to tell you what it is. Sometimes, due to a large size or inaccessible position of the fibroma, a biopsy may be necessary to eliminate any malignancy.
Jaw bone fibromas are potentially lethal and always difficult to diagnose. Your dentist might want to see multiple X-rays, CT scans and MRIs before giving out the final verdict.
Some bone related fibromas are incurable and potentially lethal like Ossifying fibromas. (2)
The cure for fibroma and indications of relapse
Fibromas are curable in most cases. If your oral surgeon has wholly eliminated the fibroma mass, it is highly unlikely that there is a relapse in the future. Let us look at the treatment options –
Surgical removal of the soft tissue fibromas
Your dentist can quickly isolate and entirely remove the entire mass of the fibroma if it is a soft tissue fibroma. These are less complicated, and the success rate is relatively high. They are always benign and rarely become cancerous.
Partial jaw resection in uncomplicated cases of bony fibromas
Bony fibromas are complicated and difficult to remove surgically. They spread fast within the bone, making it hollow and diseased from the inside. Bony fibromas cause a massive hindrance to jaw growth, facial development, and teeth eruption.
In such cases, it is best to go for a partial jaw resection. Later your dentist fabricates an artificial jaw and implants it in the surgical site. The success rate is relatively low and takes a long time to heal. (3)
The chances of relapse in cases of soft tissue fibromas are meager. On the other hand, it is a difficult task to eliminate the entire bone tissue. Hence, bony fibromas often relapse over time.
Oral Fibroma is extension or overgrowth of tissue in the oral cavity. When the oral tissues are hurt continuously, they tend to grow out of proportion.
You should always check out with our dentist regarding a long-standing swelling in your mouth. Early diagnosis is still helpful with initial treatment and complete cure.
Bony fibromas are potentially harmful. They may or may not heal. But you should always visit your dentist regarding them because newer treatment modalities keep popping up.