A case study that was recently published found that over-sized gums in children could be a possible indicator of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Occasionally as a dental practitioner, it can be tough to appropriately diagnose a patient solely based on what is taking place in their mouth. For this reason, when diagnosing a concern, dental practitioners should look into more than just the individual’s mouth. They should also be sure to look into the health background of their patient and the patient’s family members when making a diagnosis.

What is Leukemia?

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects blood cells and impairs your body’s capability of fighting infections. Leukemia causes the blood-forming tissues of the body to build a large amount of irregular white blood cells which do not behave correctly and reduce the amount of the blood cells which are used to convey oxygen or allow blood clotting. leukemia can result in death as a result of the body’s inability to stop wounds from bleeding or from infection.

An article by Dentistry today indicated that dentists are often the ones who initiate the diagnosis of 33% of individuals with myelomonocytic leukemia in addition to 25% who have myelogenous leukemia.

Should parents be concerned?

Typically the first signs of leukemia include gingivitis, bleeding or swelling gums. The gum tissue can actually enlarge enough to where the gums to overlap the enamel in severe cases. Unexplained weight loss and a feeling of weakness are other symptoms to be aware of.

Treatment options

Chemotherapy is still considered to be the most productive way of combating leukemia, in addition to bone marrow transplants and blood transfusions. Those treatments can help with the enlarged gums as well.

Here are tips for caring for your mouth for people with leukemia on Everyday Health.

When looking for causal reasons, while having enlarged gums doesn’t instantly indicate your child has leukemia, it is important to be mindful of the possibility. Enlarged gums could likewise be the outcome of other factors such as puberty-based gingivitis, menstruation cycle-associated gingivitis, Crohn’s disease, lymphoma, ascorbic acid deficiency, neurofibromatosis, and so far more.

If your child looks to have abnormally large gums, give Periodontal Associates of Memphis a call or reach out to your doctor so an appropriate diagnosis can be provided.