The study, published in Neurology, used video cameras and brain scans to investigate three patients with epilepsy whilst they brushed their teeth. The researchers found that two of the study participants experienced seizures when brushing a certain part of their mouth.
All of the patients have lesions in the somatosensory area of their brain. The authors of the study believe that the rhythmic act of brushing the teeth may excite this already overly excitable area of the brain.
The seizures were similar to those experienced in individuals with photosensitive epilepsy and it is likely that toothbrush epilepsy will fall into the same category, reflex epilepsy.