Oral health and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: A longitudinal evaluation of the first 28 days

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Mucositis is well described after pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) but other aspects of oral health such as dental plaque and gingivitis are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to describe dental plaque, gingivitis, and mucositis early after HSCT.


We conducted a prospective longitudinal observational study to describe dental plaque, gingivitis, and mucositis in the peritransplant period. We conducted comprehensive oral evaluations that included the Miyazaki tongue coating, modified simplified oral hygiene, modified gingivitis of Suomi and Barbano, and mucosal ulceration indices at baseline on days 0, +7, +14, and +28.


Data were collected from 19 patients with a median age of 8.0 years (5.1–12.8) at time of HSCT. Sixteen patients (85%) had plaque accumulation that progressively worsened, 16 (85%) developed severe gingival inflammation, 13 (68%) developed mucositis, and 11 (58%) had oral ulcerations. All oral indices worsened from baseline during the study period. Gingivitis and oral plaque persisted in most patients at day +28 while mucositis and oral ulcerations slightly improved.


Gingivitis, dental plaque, mucositis, and oral ulcerations are common after HSCT. Additional studies are needed to ascertain methods that decrease plaque and gingivitis development and severity.

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