Assessing and managing oral hygiene

Assessing and managing oral hygiene


Mouth problems are common in palliative care. Problems such as dry, sore mouth, halitosis and taste changes can lead to:

  • Difficulty with speech
  • Reduced nutritional intake
  • Increased risk of local infection, leading to more systemic infection in an immune-compromised patient
  • Reduced social interaction due to embarrassment (especially halitosis)

Causes of mouth problems include:

  • Medications (which often dry the mouth including opioids)
  • Reduced salivary function (patient perception or treatment related)
  • Oral candidiasis – a common systemic fungal infection with various presentations
  • Poor dentition or oral hygiene prior to illness
  • Diet
  • Treatment related (e.g. radiotherapy to head and neck, chemotherapy – burning mouth syndrome)

Aug 29, 2017 | Posted by in NURSING | Comments Off on Assessing and managing oral hygiene

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