Hesperian Health Guides

Swollen Gums and Epilepsy

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HealthWiki > Where There Is No Dentist > Chapter 7 Part 2: Some Special Problems > Swollen Gums and Epilepsy


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Many persons who suffer from epilepsy (see Where There ls No Doctor, page 178) have a problem with swollen gums. In severe cases, the gums are so swollen they cover the teeth. This problem is caused not by epilepsy but by diphenylhydantoin or phenytoin (Dilantin), a drug used to control epilepsy.

When you see swollen gums, find out what medicines the person is taking. If possible, change to a different drug. If the person must continue using diphenylhydantoin, explain how to prevent this swelling of the gums. Show the person this book. Persons who take this drug may be able to prevent the swelling by brushing the teeth carefully after each meal, and taking special care to clean between the teeth.


This page was updated:19 Feb 2018