Gingival hypertrophy: a solitary manifestation of scurvy

Ryan Li, Karin Byers, Rohan R. Walvekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A 48-year-old woman presented with rapid onset hypertrophy of both the upper and lower gingiva. A detailed history and a diet nearly void of fruits and vegetables raised the suspicion of a possible deficiency of vitamin C. An estimation of the serum ascorbic acid level confirmed our suspicions (<0.12 mg/dL; normal range, 0.4-1.0 mg/dL) and a diagnosis of scurvy was confirmed. A course of 1000 mg/d of ascorbic acid was initiated that caused a dramatic resolution of the gingival lesions. Gingival hypertrophy has a large differential diagnosis; however, it is also known to be an extremely rare manifestation of scurvy. A high index of suspicion for scurvy is relevant given its low prevalence in developed nations and how easily remediable the disease can be, even when it presents in a severe form.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-428
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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