Oral Hygiene for Patients with Dysphagia
Proper oral care is important for reducing and eliminating the bacteria in the mouth that may cause aspiration pneumonia.
1) Perform oral care for at least 2 minutes, frequently throughout the day – especially before eating and drinking.
2) Use toothpaste, floss, interdental cleaners, and/or waterpiks.
3) If using mouthwash, choose alcohol-free.
4) Use tap water or saline when toothpaste is not available or appropriate.
5) Brush the teeth and tongue.
6) Clean the gums, regardless of the presence or absence of teeth.
7) Remove dentures at bedtime, clean, and soak in denture-cleaning solution.
8) If present, remove prostheses and cleanse gums thoroughly with gauze soaked in saline or chlorhexidine .12%.
9) Avoid products with glycerin and hydrogen peroxide.
Sarin, J., Balasubramaniam, R., Corcoran, A., Laudenbach, J., Stoopler, E. (2008). Reducing the risk of aspiration pneumonia among elderly patients in long-term care facilities through oral health interventions. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 9 (2), 128-135.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/29/2013
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