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Support Care Cancer. 2018 Aug;26(8):2651-2661. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4111-7. Epub 2018 Feb 22.

Guide for health professionals addressing oral care for individuals in oncological treatment based on scientific evidence.

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Curso de Odontologia, Universidade Ceuma, Rua Josué Montello, No. 1, Renascença II, São Luís, Maranhão, 65075-120, Brazil.
Instituto Maranhense de Oncologia Aldenora Bello, São Luís, Rua Seroa da Mota, No. 23, Apeadouro, São Luís, Maranhão, 65031-630, Brazil.
Curso de Odontologia e Programa de Pós-graduação em Odontologia, Rua Josué Montello, No. 1, Renascença II, São Luís, Maranhão, 65075-120, Brazil.



Oncological treatment can cause changes in the oral cavity compromising oral functions. The aim of the study was, based on a systematic review, to draft a guide directed at the team of health professionals involved in the oral care of oncological patients.


A systematic search of the literature was performed for articles published between 2000 and April 2017. Searches were made of electronic databases and hand search. The inclusion criteria were systematic reviews of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and RCTs published in English, involving pediatric and adult oncological patients and focused on the prevention and treatment of oral complications as well as studies addressing the maintenance of oral health. Among the 1237 studies identified, 129 were pre-selected and 54 were selected to form the basis for the clinical guide.


The studies analyzed stress the need for oral assessments as well as preventive and curative actions prior to oncological treatment. To minimize the severity of oral problems, the studies emphasize daily oral care, the treatment of xerostomia with saliva substitute and hydration, and low-level laser therapy, nystatin, acyclovir, respectively, for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis, oral candidiasis, and infection by herpes simplex virus. Thus, the guide produced addresses oral assessments and professional and home care before, during, and after oncological treatment.


The guide drafted has the function of assisting health professionals involved in the oral care of patients with cancer, enabling the prevention or treatment of oral complications stemming from oncological treatment.


Chemotherapy; Dental care; Oral health; Oral hygiene; Practice guideline; Radiotherapy

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