Ring chromosome 14 syndrome: what the dentist should know to manage children with r(14) effec-tively

Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2023 Feb 28;65(1):20-29. doi: 10.3897/folmed.65.e71784.


Introduction: Ring chromosome 14 syndrome, or r(14), is a rare genetic disorder characterized by distinctive facial features, intractable epilepsy, delayed development, intellectual disability, and autism spectrum disorder. With less than 100 documented cases worldwide, the disease is not well known or fully studied. Furthermore, the literature offers little guidance to aid dentists in the management of these patients as r(14) remains undocumented in the dental literature.

Aim: To investigate the manifestations and challenges faced by a group of subjects suffering from r(14), to raise awareness of this syndrome, and to provide tips and suggestions that dentists may find helpful to manage r(14) children effectively.

Materials and methods: A voluntary survey was administered to the caretakers of 13 r(14) patients who, as of 2019, were registered in the NORD (National Organization for Rare Diseases) global data bank (Ring 14 USA Outreach). The patients were assessed for age, gender, geographic distribution, phenotype, physical appearance, maxillofacial characteristics, presence of oral conditions and abnormalities, malocclusion, epileptic seizures, cognitive abilities, speech, muscle tone, nutrition, autism, and other developmental and behavioral points of interest.

Results: Of the 13 patients queried, 7 were male and 6 were female. The age of the patients ranged from 5 to 49 years. Ten patients were of European ancestry and three were Hispanic, all residing across the U.S. The majority of patients were diagnosed as infants, shortly after commencement of uncontrollable seizures. All the patients had microcephaly and presented with Class II malocclusions. More frequent occlusal anomalies and conditions included diastemata of the anterior teeth, congenitally missing teeth, crowding, and drooling. The majority of subjects was unable to speak, suffered from intractable seizures, and frequently exhibited behavioral outbursts.

Conclusions: A child with r(14) may present a considerable challenge to the dentist and staff, but the dental problems of r(14) children are, for the most part, like those of any other patient and can often be handled by the dentist. Depending on the severity of symptoms, some children with r(14) may be as treatable in the dental office as any other child.

Keywords: children; dental management; ring chromosome 14 syndrome; special needs.

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder*
  • Cognition
  • Dentists
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malocclusion*

Supplementary concepts

  • Ring Chromosome 14 Syndrome