Oral care post stroke: a scoping review

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Health concerns post stroke may be the result of, or exacerbated by, neglected oral health care (OHC). However, OHC may be challenging post stroke due to hemiparesis, hemiplegia, a lack of coordination, and/or cognitive deficits. The objective of this study was to conduct a scoping review and summarise the current state of knowledge pertaining to OHC post stroke. A literature search was conducted using the multiple databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, etc.). Combinations of multiple keywords were searched: oral, dental, health, care, hygiene, teeth, dentures, tooth brushing, stroke, cardiovascular health and cardiovascular disease. A grey literature search was also conducted. Articles included were those published in English between 1970 and July 2013, which focused on at least one aspect of OHC among a stroke population. For clinical trials, ≥50% of the sample must have sustained a stroke. In total, 60 articles met inclusion and focused on three primary area: (i)OHC Importance/Stroke Implications;(ii)Current Research;and (iii)Current Practice.It was found that OHC concerns are mainly related to mastication, dysphagia/nutrition, hygiene, prostheses and quality of life. Research indicates that there is limited specialised and individual care provided, and there are few assessment tools, guidelines and established protocols for oral health that are specific to the stroke population. Further, dental professionals' and nurses' knowledge of OHC is generally inadequate; hence, proper education for health professionals in acute and rehabilitation settings, patients, and caregivers has been discussed.

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