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Irritation Fibroma

Last updated Aug. 25, 2021

Reviewed by: Lester Fahrner, MD

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP


Microscopic pathology image showing a benign fibroma.

What are the other Names for this Condition? (Also known as/Synonyms)

  • Fibrous Polyp in the Mouth
  • Irritative Hyperplasia of Oral Mucosa
  • Traumatic Fibroma in the Mouth

What is Irritation Fibroma? (Definition/Background Information)

  • Irritation Fibroma is a common, benign, slow-growing skin tumor. It is a tumor of the soft tissues, which occurs inside the mouth
  • In a majority of the cases, the tumor is present as a single nodule; although rarely, the tumor can occur as multiple nodules too
  • Irritation Fibroma is usually present as a mass in the mouth. The tumor site could include the cheek, lips, and tongue. Generally, there are no significant complications from the tumor
  • A complete excision of Irritation Fibroma usually results in a cure. The prognosis with appropriate treatment (surgical removal) is excellent

Who gets Irritation Fibroma? (Age and Sex Distribution)

  • Irritation Fibroma can occur at any age; however, infants and young children are usually not affected
  • It is more common in males than in females
  • The condition is observed worldwide. There is no ethnic or racial preference for Irritation Fibroma

What are the Risk Factors for Irritation Fibroma? (Predisposing Factors)

The risk factors for Irritation Fibroma may include:

  • Familial fibromatosis
  • Fibrotic papillary hyperplasia, of palate
  • Tuberous sclerosis
  • Multiple hamartoma syndrome (Cowden disease)
  • Ill-fitting dentures

It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases ones chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.

Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider. 

What are the Causes of Irritation Fibroma? (Etiology)

  • The cause of Irritation Fibroma includes recurring trauma to the mouth
  • This can occur due to several factors such as poorly-aligned teeth and ill-fitting dentures too

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Irritation Fibroma?

The signs and symptoms of Irritation Fibroma include:

  • It usually presents as a single nodule in the mouth (tongue, cheek, and lips). Rarely, the tumor can occur as multiple nodules too
  • The nodule is typically less than 2 cm in size (along the larger dimension), and normally painless and slow-growing. The skin nodules are not painful
  • The skin over the nodule may be brownish-red to white, but is usually intact
  • The masses are usually firm to touch and well-defined
  • Most tumors are asymptomatic; however, in others, a wide-range of behavior is observed. Irritation Fibroma may cause:
    • Bleeding from the mouth
    • Ulceration of tongue, cheek, or lips  

Irritation Fibromas may occur as new growths that develop over weeks to months 

How is Irritation Fibroma Diagnosed?

The following are the diagnostic tools for Irritation Fibroma:

  • A thorough physical examination and a complete medical history are very crucial
  • Tissue biopsy of the tumor: A tissue biopsy is performed and sent to a laboratory for a pathological examination, who examines the biopsy under a microscope. After putting together clinical findings, special studies on tissues (if needed) and with microscope findings, the pathologist arrives at a definitive diagnosis
  • Sometimes, the pathologist may perform special studies, which may include immunohistochemical stains, histochemical stains, molecular testing, and very rarely, electron microscopic studies. Examination of the biopsy under a microscope by a pathologist is considered to be gold-standard in arriving at a conclusive diagnosis
  • Differential diagnosis to eliminate other tumor types are often considered, before arriving at a definitive diagnosis

Many clinical conditions may have similar signs and symptoms. Your healthcare provider may perform additional tests to rule out other clinical conditions to arrive at a definitive diagnosis. 

What are the possible Complications of Irritation Fibroma?

No significant complications due to Irritation Fibroma have been generally reported. However, sometimes the tumor may recur after surgical excision, if the removal is incomplete.

How is Irritation Fibroma Treated?

The following are the methods used to treat Irritation Fibroma:

  • Irritation Fibroma is benign in nature, and hence, a surgical excision of the tumor is considered sufficient treatment and is normally curative
  • Also, the tumor does not recur after a complete surgical excision

How can Irritation Fibroma be Prevented?

Irritation Fibroma may be prevented by eliminating the cause of repeated trauma to the mouth.

What is the Prognosis of Irritation Fibroma? (Outcomes/Resolutions)

The prognosis of Irritation Fibroma is excellent on a complete surgical removal of the tumor. 

Additional and Relevant Useful Information for Irritation Fibroma:

The following DoveMed website link is a useful resource for additional information:


What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Sept. 28, 2015
Last updated: Aug. 25, 2021