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International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry
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Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 38 (2018), No. 2     8. Mar. 2018
Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 38 (2018), No. 2  (08.03.2018)

Page 253-259, doi:10.11607/prd.3253, PubMed:29447319


Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Gingiva Mimicking Periodontal Disease: A Diagnostic Challenge and Therapeutic Dilemma
Bornstein, Michael M. / Andreoni, Claude / Meier, Thomas / Leung, Yiu Yan
A case of squamous cell carcinoma of the gingiva (GSCC) in the left anterior maxilla in a 64-year-old woman that was treated for almost 5 years as suspected periodontal lesion prior to establishing the final diagnosis of oral cancer is presented in this case report. GSCCs have a variable clinical appearance, ranging from an exophytic mass to ulcerative lesions. They have been reported to pose a diagnostic challenge and are not infrequently initially misdiagnosed as periodontal disease. A delay in diagnosis and extraction of teeth in the vicinity of GSCCs has been demonstrated to increase the risk for lymph node metastasis and thus result in a lower 5-year survival rate. To avoid misdiagnosis and delay of the appropriate treatment, a proper histopathologic evaluation is mandatory whenever an incisional biopsy is performed. Furthermore, referral to a specialist in oral medicine or oral and maxillofacial surgery is indicated when a gingival lesion is nonresponsive to treatment, recurring, or rapidly growing in size.