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Vol. 71, No. 9
ISSN: 1488-2159
October 2005


Treatment of Self-Inflicted Oral Trauma in a Comatose Patient: A Case Report


• Taira Kobayashi, DDS, PhD •
• Henry Ghanem, BDS, LDS, MS •
• Koji Umezawa, DDS, PhD •
• Junichi Mega, DDS, PhD •
• Misao Kawara, DDS, PhD •
• Jocelyne S. Feine, DDS, HDR •

A b s t r a c t

Trauma to oral soft tissues in comatose patients may be more widespread than reported, as no extensive study of this problem has been conducted. Various appliances for the prevention of self-inflicted injuries to oral tissues particularly in children and the physically and mentally challenged have been documented, but there is little information on their use in adult comatose patients.

Because comatose patients lack cerebral control of the masticatory cycle, they can easily injure themselves. Although it is not uncommon for patients with a decreased level of consciousness and in need of intensive care to be restrained to prevent injury due to involuntary movement of the limbs, head and neck restraint is often difficult and may be dangerous to the patient. This case report presents a simple solution to the problem of self-inflicted trauma to oral tissues.


MeSH Key Words: coma; lip/injuries; mouth protectors; self mutilation/prevention & control
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