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Spec Care Dentist. 1991 Mar-Apr;11(2):59-62.

Oral health in the terminally ill: a cross-sectional pilot survey.

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Dental School, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff.


This study of 20 hospice patients provided baseline information on oral and dental status in the terminally ill. For each patient, a questionnaire was completed, the mouth was examined, and an oral rinse and imprint cultures were collected to establish the prevalence and intra-oral density of yeasts, staphylococci and coliforms. Oral symptoms reported included disturbance of taste (26%), dysphagia (37%), soreness (42%), and dryness (58%). Of the 75% who wore dentures, 71% had difficulty with their prosthesis (es). A clinical diagnosis of oral candidiasis was made in 70% of subjects. The high prevalence of oral symptoms, denture problems, and candidiasis clearly affect the quality of remaining life in terminally ill patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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