Phenytoin-induced gum hypertrophy in patients with epilepsy

Curr Med Res Opin. 1988;10(10):652-5. doi: 10.1185/03007998809111114.


One hundred and eight patients who had been taking phenytoin for a year or more, either alone or in combination with other drugs, were examined for gum hypertrophy by three observers independently. Approximately 90% of the patients showed either mild or no gum hypertrophy and severe swelling occurred in only 1%. The observed standards of oral hygiene were extremely poor. A tendency for higher serum phenytoin levels to be associated with greater gum hypertrophy was observed. Because the condition was causing no problems in over 90% of patients, it is considered that gum hypertrophy per se should not deter a physician from using phenytoin in the treatment of epilepsy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Gingival Hypertrophy / blood
  • Gingival Hypertrophy / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenytoin / adverse effects*
  • Phenytoin / blood


  • Phenytoin