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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 396830, 6 pages
Research Article

A Modified Intraoral Resin Mouthguard to Prevent Self-Mutilations in Lesch-Nyhan Patients

Scuola di Specializzazione in Ortognatodonzia, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, UOC Odontoiatria Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Padiglione 20, Via Gerolamo Gaslini 5, 16147 Genova, Italy

Received 6 February 2014; Revised 6 June 2014; Accepted 6 June 2014; Published 2 July 2014

Academic Editor: Carla Evans

Copyright © 2014 Giulia Ragazzini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, described in 1964 by Lesch and Nyhan, is a X-linked recessive disorder, occurring in 1 : 100000 to 1 : 380000 live births. LNS is characterized by a decrease in activity of hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase, an enzyme involved in purine metabolism, resulting in overproduction of uric acid. Hyperuricemia and neurological features including choreoathetoid spasticity, self-mutilation, and mental retardation clinically characterize this syndrome. In LNS patients the typical feature is loss of tissue from biting themselves with partial or complete amputation of fingers, lips, and tongue. The self-mutilation compares with the eruption of the deciduous teeth. Several drugs trials have been administered to improve self-destructive behavior and invasive treatment approaches, such as extractions of teeth and orthognathic surgery, have been suggested with variable effectiveness. Nowadays prevention is, therefore, the standard of care. The role of dentistry is essential in the management of the self-mutilating behavior, because the teeth represent the main self-injury instrument. This report presents a revision of various therapeutic approaches to manage self-destruction, highlighting the effectiveness of a preventive treatment. It describes a new technique: a resin mouthguard, realized at Gaslini Hospital, to obtain immediate healing of the oral lesions, confirmed in the follow-up period.