Desquamative gingivitis is a clinical feature of a variety of diseases. It is characterized by epithelial desquamation, erythema, ulceration, and/or the presence of vesiculobullous lesions of gingiva and other oral tissues. This phenomenon can be a manifestation of a number of dermatoses, most commonly lichen planus, cicatricial pemphigoid (benign mucous membrane pemphigoid), and pemphigus vulgaris.1 When biopsy specimens from mucosal lesions provide equivocal histopathologic findings, direct immunofluorescence may be beneficial in establishing a definitive diagnosis, oral lesions may occur first or very early in several mucocutaneous disorders, accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of these lesions may greatly diminish or reverse disease progression.
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