Where There Is No Dentist 2012 115
These teeth are normal. The line formed between the
two middle teeth does not shift when the mouth opens.
When you see teeth that do not fit
• Warn the person not to open his
mouth wide. Suggest, for example,
that he take his food in small bites.
• Tell the person what can be done
to help. Often a dentist can grind
the teeth in a special way and this
can end the pain.
These teeth do not fit properly. Because the
line shifts, this means the jaw is also shifting.
This shift can cause pain in the joint.
SWOLLEN GUMS AND EPILEPSY
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, especially pages 69 to 72. 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 (page 71).