A condition seen in puppies where the gum tissue (gingiva) is thickened. This condition causes problems when the thickened gums prevents or delays teeth eruption. This condition is most common in Soft Coated Wheaton terriers, Tibetan Terriers, Lhasa apsos, Havanese, and Portugese Water Dogs.  It's also been reported in Maltese, Shih Tzu, and Springer Spaniels.  Thickened gingiva has been given many names: Fibromatous gingivae, Elaphantiasis gingivae, Heriditary gingival fibromatosis, and Congenital macrogingivae.

Treatment is surgical removal of the extra gingiva which allows exposure of the teeth that need to "come in". The results are generally better if the surgery is performed close to the time the teeth are supposed to erupt or "come in". In other words, waiting too long can lead to impaction of teeth or unerupted teeth. Pre-surgical dental radiographs are mandatory to confirm normal presence of the developing adult teeth.  Pet caretakers should be aware that the adult teeth might also be delayed in their eruption pattern.