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01.12.2010 | Review | Ausgabe 6/2010

Clinical Oral Investigations 6/2010

Hard palate perforation in cocaine abusers: a systematic review

Clinical Oral Investigations > Ausgabe 6/2010
Francisco Javier Silvestre, Ana Perez-Herbera, Angel Puente-Sandoval, José V. Bagán


Cocaine abuse has increased in the past decade, with a rise in the reported cases of midpalatine perforations produced as a result. The vasoconstrictive and caustic effect of the drug can produce direct irritation and ischemia of the nasal and palatine mucosa, leading over the long term to the creation of an oronasal perforation secondary to maxillary bone destruction. The present study offers a systematic review of all the clinical cases of necrotic nasopalatine perforations attributed to inhaled cocaine documented in the PubMed literature database. The main clinical characteristics of the disorder and its different management options are examined. Likewise, emphasis is placed on the importance of a correct differential diagnosis with respect to other conditions also characterized by midfacial necrotic destruction. Of the 36 cases included in the study, 21 corresponded to females and 15 to males. Most of the lesions were located in the hard palate (77.7%) with only 5.5% being found in the soft palate. Combined hard and soft palate presentations in turn accounted for 16.6% of the cases. The mean diameter of the perforation was 19.32 ± 16.94 mm (95%CI: 11.81–26.83). The most frequent clinical manifestation was rhinolalia together with the regurgitation of solid food and liquids through the nares. Management consists of a combination of antibiotics, analgesics, prostheses (obturators), and surgical reconstructions of the defect.

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