Gruesome Medical Photo Shows Rare Disease That Makes Gums Look Just Like Strawberries – ScienceAlert

A rare manifestation of a very rare disease ended up giving a woman’s swollen, overgrown gums the appearance of strawberry flesh, in what doctors describe as a severe and extreme case. WARNING: there are graphic images of this case below.


A case report details the strange symptoms experienced by a 42-year-old woman in Iran, who presented at a dermatology clinic, explaining that for about six weeks she had been experiencing a rapidly worsening and painful case of gum overgrowth.

This condition, called gingival hyperplasia, was accompanied by recurrent nosebleeds, and three necrotic ulcers that had developed on her face in the space of the previous month.

(M. Ghiasi, NEJM, 2017)

When doctors examined the patient’s mouth, they observed her case of gingival hyperplasia was so pronounced it had developed into a particularly rare form of gum enlargement known as ‘strawberry gingivitis‘, with its distinct “granular and haemorrhagic appearance”, as dermatologist Maryam Ghiasi from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences explains in the case note.

“I think you can figure out why [it’s called strawberry gingivitis],” says Michigan-based periodontist Joseph Nemeth, who wasn’t involved with the patient’s episode or treatment, but discusses the case in the video below.

“The tissue can look like strawberries. However, it’s a symptom of a very serious vascular or blood vessel disease.”