Epilepsy and Oral Health

Gürbüz T.

in: Novel Aspects on Epilepsy, Humberto Foyaca-Sibat, Editor, IntechOPEN, Zagreb, pp.157-172, 2011

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Other Book
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Publisher: IntechOPEN
  • City: Zagreb
  • Page Numbers: pp.157-172
  • Editors: Humberto Foyaca-Sibat, Editor


Epilepsy and Oral Health

Taskin Gurbuz

Department of Pedodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Atatürk University, Erzurum Turkey

Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurologic disorder in paediatric neurology and the predominant aetiologies are birth injury and congenital abnormalities. Epilepsy has a tendency to recurrent seizures. Most of these will have primary or idiopathic epilepsy (i.e., no underlying cause will be evident), but some will have secondary epilepsy due to a cause such as head injury, meningitis, or birth asphyxia. The international classification of epileptic seizures divides the epilepsies into those that are generalized, where the whole brain is involved, and the partial seizures, where the aberrant activity involves only a part of the brain (Koch & Poulsen, 2009). In infants, birth injuries and congenital defects are the primary causes of epilepsy. Birth injuries, genetic factors, infections, and trauma are major contributing factors in children and adolescents from 2 to 20 years of age. For individuals between 20 and 30 years of age, brain tumors and other structural lesions are the foremost contributing causes. In those older than 50 years of age, cerebral vascular accidents and metastatic tumors are significant causes of seizure activity (Aragon & Burneo, 2007). Epilepsy is the most common neurological problem of childhood, and its incidence is the highest in the first decade of life, a period during which children begin and complete a critical part of their social and educational development. Epilepsy is a common chronic neurologic disorder that affects 1–3% of the population, and almost 10% of the population will have one or more seizures at some time in their lives (Hauser et al., 1996). The epilepsies form an array of more or less discrete epilepsy syndromes, characterized by age of onset, hereditary factors, seizure types, electroencephalogram (EEG) abnormalities, and prognosis (Roger, 2005).

A seizure is classified as “partial” when the electrical discharge causing it to occur in a specific area of the brain or “generalized” when the discharge affects the entire brain cortex. When there is loss of awareness, seizures are termed complex. The classification of epilepsy is similar. Epilepsy can be partial or generalized. Based on the cause, it can be symptomatic (caused by a developmental malformation), idiopathic (when a genetic condition is responsible) or cryptogenic (when the cause is unknown) (Aragon & Burneo, 2007). Epilepsy is the most common disorder in paediatric neurology and the predominant aetiologies are birth injury and congenital abnormalities.