Oral health status in patients with acquired brain injury: a systematic review

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Abstract

Objective.

To undertake a systematic review of the current knowledge and future perspectives regarding the status of various oral health factors, including social and behavioral aspects, in patients with acquired brain injury (ABI).

Study design.

A structured search strategy was applied to PubMed, Embase, and Scopus electronic databases until January 2016 to identify studies presenting assessments of the oral health status of patients afflicted with any kind of ABI. The search strategy was restricted to English-language publications that enrolled patients aged more than 18 years. Studies on the association of oral health conditions and brain injury were excluded. No study was excluded based on its qualitative analysis.

Results.

A total of 27 studies were reviewed. Stroke was the most commonly studied ABI. Stroke patients had a higher number of missing teeth, poorer plaque and gingival index scores, and higher colonization of Candida albicans in saliva, all of which were significantly reduced after intervention. Oral health–related quality of life was poorer in patients compared to the general population.

Conclusion.

Stroke was the most predominant brain injury condition studied in the literature, with few publications focusing on other forms of brain injury. Overall, oral health has been noted to be poor in patients with ABI, but oral hygiene and oral health–related quality of life have been found to improve when oral hygiene interventions are provided to patients.

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