A patient with a neurologic disorder may be at risk for dentofacial injury. This risk can be reduced if protective measures are taken.


Types of injuries that may occur:

(1) fractures of the lower and mid-face

(2) dental trauma including fracture and intrusion of teeth into the nasal cavity

(3) injury to the tongue and/or lips

(4) ocular injuries


Neurologic conditions associated with increased risk:

(1) atonic seizures (where the person suddenly loses muscle tone and drops to the floor)

(2) any neuromuscular condition with a tendency to fall and show compromised self-protective reflexes


Situations where risk is greater:

(1) walking on staircases or steps

(2) presence of a sharp edge (furniture, steps, etc.) in the drop zone

(3) presence of a recent injury undergoing repair and healing


Other risk factors:

(1) history of a previous fall causing dentofacial trauma

(2) failure to wear protective equipment (helmet with facial shield)


Prevention includes:

(1) wearing appropriate protective equipment

(2) modifying environment to reduce hard edges and to increase padded surfaces


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