Oral Health and Dental Treatment Needs in Nigerian Patients with Epilepsy

Ogunbodede, E, Adamolekun B, Akintomide A.  1998.  Oral Health and Dental Treatment Needs in Nigerian Patients with Epilepsy, 1998/07/01. Epilepsia. 39:590-4.


We determined the prevalence of oral disorders and the dental treatment needs of outpatients with epilepsy.A questionnaire was administered to 56 consecutive patients (35 males, 21 females) presenting to an outpatient clinic. All patients underwent dental examinations. The clinical and diagnostic features of each patient's epilepsy were also obtained.
The mean age (+/-SD) of the patients was 25.1 +/- 12.1 years (range, 12-56 years). Of 9 patients receiving phenytoin (PHT) monotherapy, 3 (33.3%) had gingival hypertrophy; 15 of 18 (83.3%) patients receiving PHT in combination with phenobarbital (PB) manifested the disorder. Traumatized anterior teeth were found in 26 (46.4%) patients with the males significantly more affected than females (p = 0.02). When the dental treatment needs were considered, 24 (42.9%) patients required dental prophylaxis with oral hygiene instruction, and an equal number required various types of restorative treatments. Only 13 patients (23.2%) had previously visited a dental clinic; the 43 (76.8%) who had never sought dental treatment claimed they did not see any need for it.
Our study showed an increased predilection to anterior dental injuries in patients with epilepsy as compared with the prevalence earlier reported for those without epilepsy in Nigeria (p = 0.00). There is a clear need for effective interaction between medical and dental practitioners in the management of epilepsy.