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Generalized gingival enlargement can be caused by a variety of etiological factors. It can be inherited (hereditary gingival fibromatosis [HGF]); associated with other diseases characterizing a syndrome; or induced as a side effect of systemic drugs, such as phenytoin, cyclosporin, or nifedipine. HGF, previously known as elephantiasis gingivae, hereditary gingival hyperplasia, and hypertrophic gingiva, is a genetic disorder characterized by a progressive enlargement of the gingiva. This review will focus on diagnosis, treatment, and control of HGF. The pattern of inheritance, the histopathologic characteristics, and the known biologic and genetic features associated with HGF are also emphasized. J Periodontol 2006;77:753-764.