Oral health in the hospital — caregivers, advocates, nurses!

The Silent Role of Biofilms in Chronic Disease Forums Biofilm Community The DENT Connection Oral health in the hospital — caregivers, advocates, nurses!

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        There are so many simple, quick ways to take care of your loved ones in the hospital! Did you know that brushing their teeth could save their life?! Get rid of the bacterial biofilm — it will save a life.

        Impact of tongue biofilm removal on mechanically ventilated patients.

        [Article in English, Portuguese]
        &cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=23887759″]Santos PS, &cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=23887759″]Mariano M, &cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=23887759″]Kallas MS, &cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=23887759″]Vilela MC.


        To evaluate the effectiveness of a tongue cleaner in the removal of tongue biofilm in mechanically ventilated patients.


        Tongue biofilm and tracheal secretion samples were collected from a total of 50 patients: 27 in the study group (SG) who were intubated or tracheostomized under assisted ventilation and treated with the tongue cleaner and 23 in the control group (CG) who did not undergo tongue cleaning. Oral and tracheal secretion cultures of the SG (initially and after 5 days) and the CG (at a single time-point) were performed to evaluate the changes in bacterial flora.


        The median age of the SG patients was 77 years (45-99 years), and that of the CG patients was 79 years (21-94 years). The length of hospital stay ranged from 17-1,370 days for the SG with a median stay of 425 days and from 4-240 days for the CG with a median stay of 120 days. No significant differences were found when the dental plaque indexes were compared between the SG and the CG. There was no correlation between the index and the length of hospital stay. The same bacterial flora was found in the dental plaque of 9 of the 27 SG patients before and after the tongue scraper was used for 5 days compared with the CG (p=0.683). Overall, 7 of the 27 SG patients had positive bacterial cultures for the same strains in both tongue biofilm and tracheal secretions compared with the CG (p=0.003). Significant similarities in strain resistance and susceptibility of the assessed microorganisms were observed between oral and tracheal microflora in 6/23 cases in the CG (p=0.006).


        The use of a tongue cleaner is effective at reducing tongue biofilm in patients on mechanical ventilation and facilitates oral hygiene interventions performed by caregivers.

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