This condition is an acute, contagious viral infection. It is characterized chiefly by
swelling of the salivary glands, usually the parotid gland. Symptoms of the disease
include fever, chills, headache, and painful swelling below the ear. Salivation and
opening the mouth cause discomfort. The parotid duct opening in the buccal mucosa is
usually reddened and swollen. The saliva itself contains the virus.
This is a rare condition caused by a deficiency of vitamin C in the diet. Scurvy is
marked by anemia, spongy gums, and a tendency for bleeding by the mucous tissues.
The gingiva may have a purplish color.
2-24. PERNICIOUS ANEMIA
This condition is a result of a vitamin B12 deficiency in the diet. Symptoms
include generalized weakness, numbness or tingling of the extremities, and a sore,
painful tongue. The tongue is generally inflamed and often described as beefy-red in
color. Treatment consists of the ingestion of vitamin B12 and folic acid.
The disease epilepsy is discussed here because of the use of Dilantin in its
treatment and the marked gingival hyperplasia that may result (figure 2-18).
Hyperplasia is rapid growth of the dense, fibrous connective tissue of the gingiva. In
advanced hyperplasia, the teeth may be completely covered by firm, light pink gingival
tissue. Normally, bleeding, inflammation, or secondary infection is not a problem in
these cases. Treatment of the hyperplastic tissue is surgical removal and strict oral
hygiene care to prevent recurrence.
Gingival tissue overgrowth of the clinical crown is caused by Dilantin therapy
in some patients. Poor oral hygiene contributes to this development, with the
fibrous tissue compounding the hygiene problem.