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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: QI
Quintessence International

Edited by Eli Eliav

ISSN 0033-6572 (print) • ISSN 1936-7163 (online)

February 2007
Volume 38 , Issue 2

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Squamous cell carcinoma of the gingiva presenting as localized periodontal disease

Thomas Y. H. Yoon, DDS, MS / Indraneel Bhattacharyya, DDS / Joseph Katz, DMD / Herbert J. Towle, DDS / Mohammed N. Islam, DDS

Pages: 97102
PMID: 17263148

Gingival squamous cell carcinoma represents less than 10% of diagnosed intraoral carcinoma. Many unique features of gingival squamous cell carcinoma clearly delineate it from oral squamous cell carcinoma arising in other sites. This article presents the clinicopathologic findings of a case. An 81-year-old woman presented for evaluation of multiple oral lesions primarily limited to the maxillary gingiva; the lesions had been present for about 2 years. Differential diagnosis included epithelial dysplasia, benign mucous membrane pemphigoid, inflammatory lesion of endodontic/periodontic origin, lichen planus, and squamous cell carcinoma. Clinical examination revealed extensive erythematous and ulcerative lesions of maxillary buccal and palatal gingiva extending into the maxillary buccal vestibule; the lesions did not respond to antibiotic therapy. Radiographic evaluation demonstrated advanced alveolar bone loss as well as displacement of the maxillary right first molar. Subsequent histology confirmed diagnosis of moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. Gingival squamous cell carcinoma can mimic a multitude of oral lesions, especially those of inflammatory origin. In addition, predisposing and presenting factors are different from those of other oral squamous cell carcinomas. Careful examinations as well as routine biopsy are crucial for accurate diagnosis. (Quintessence Int 2007;38:97102)

Key words: carcinoma, gingiva, periodontal disease, squamous cell carcinoma

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