New England Journal of Medicine reported that a 42-year-old who had several ulcers on her face, which were ‘eating away’ also started to notice her gums increased size six weeks prior to finding out she suffered from the condition and had been getting regular nose bleeds.
Dr Maryam Ghiasi who treated the woman at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran, confirmed that lab tests showed she was suffering from granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA).
In the report, she said:
“Strawberry gingivitis is a rare manifestation of granulomatosis with polyangiitis, and its clinical presentation is highly suggestive of the disease.”
It was reported that the patient didn’t return for a follow-up consultation, so doctors were unsure of what had happened to her.
Dr Joseph Nemeth, a peridontist from the United States, looking into the case said:
“The tissue can look like strawberries.
“However, it is a symptom of a very serious vascular or blood vessel disease. If not caught early it can be fatal.
“As dentists we are often the first to actually see something like this because the patient might not be aware of symptoms other than what’s going on in their mouth.
“This is an extreme case. These cases are not common, but they do occur.
“A blood vessel disease can be treated if caught early but if not, it can be fatal.”
GPA, if not treated, can be deadly because it causes severe damage to the body and can stop the kidneys working properly.
It’s thought that it’s to do with a problem in the immune system, which makes it attack the blood vessels in the body. Although specialists don’t know exactly what the root cause is, they believe it is often triggered by an infection or virus.
There are a number of signs to look out for when trying to spot the deadly condition, such as fatigue, hearing loss and rashes and lumps.