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The effects of phenytoin and sodium valproate on the periodontal health of adult epileptic patients


Dr. R. A. Seymour Department of Operative Dentistry The Dental School Framlington Place Newcastle upon Tyne UK


Abstract The periodontal health of 30 adult epileptic patients treated with cither sodium valproate or phenytoin was compared with a control group (n= 15) of otherwise healthy patients. The 3 groups were matched for age and sex. Patients on phenytoin therapy showed significantly higher plaque scores (p < 0.05), gingival index (p < 0.05) and pocketing (P<0.05) than patients in the control group. The % of gingival hyperplusia was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the phenytoin-treated patients than those on sodium valproate or in the control group. However, patients on phenytoin therapy had significantly less bone loss than those on sodium valproale (p < 0.05) or in the control group (P < 0.01). No significant differences were observed between the sodium valproate group and the control group on any of the parameters assessed. The results from this study would suggest that sodium valproate has no unwanted effects on periodontal health and may be considered a safe alternative, regarding the periodontal aspects, to phenytoin for the treatment of adult onset epilepsy.

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