Hesperian Health Guides
Swollen Gums and Epilepsy
Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!
Make a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.
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.