Dental injury may occur in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health), Jan 7 - While dental injury during seizures is rare in patients with epilepsy, it occurs more frequently in those with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), according to findings reported by U.K. investigators.

Injuries can occur during seizures, and the pattern and type of injury can be a useful "silent witness" in diagnosing seizures. "Dental injury can arise in a number of ways during a seizure, through falling forwards or jaw clenching, for example," Dr. R. H. Thomas, of Swansea University, and colleagues write. "It is plausible that the occurrence and type of dental injury seen may relate to seizure type."

The researchers reviewed data for 1,673 patients enrolled in the Gloucestershire Epilepsy Database, including patient notes and data on demographics, seizure type and age of onset, EEG, and MRI. The findings are reported in the January issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.

Fourteen patients had dental injuries. Eight of the patients had JME, two had other primary generalized epilepsy, and four had focal onset epilepsy. The front teeth were the most commonly injured.

Of the 10 patients with injuries to front teeth, seven had multiple teeth injured and three injured a single tooth. When other teeth were injured (n = 4), only a single tooth was involved. The authors note that four patients injured their teeth more than once.

The researchers observed that "dental injury occurred in 10% of patients with JME, significantly more common than the rate in other patients with other primary generalized epilepsy (0.4%; p < 0.0001) or focal onset epilepsy (0.4%; p < 0.0001)."

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2009;80:91-93.

Last Updated: 2009-01-06 16:33:46 -0400 (Reuters Health)

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