Oral Health Care in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury A Systematic Review

Author(s): Aljoharah Ahmad Alfaqeeh, Mansour K Assery and Navin Anand Ingle

Background: The increase in the number of vehicle accidents and falls has contributed to many spinal cord injuries (SCIs). One of the personal hygiene functions is oral care with common activities including brushing, flossing, mouth washing, and dental cleaning. However, little research has been done on the oral care that they need during their treatment and rehabilitation processes. This study assesses the oral health care for patients with SCI with a view to identifying possible remedies for improving their health. Materials and Methods: A search for articles on the topic published between 2005 and 2020 was done on PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, and Cochrane. The Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment tool was then used to establish the extent to which the articles could be biased to their authors’ ideas. Results: The search yielded 27 articles, but only seven (7) were included based on the set criteria. The included articles addressed oral behaviors and problems among individuals with SCI, their need for dental care and dental health status, the reasons why they have oral health problems, health-related quality of life (QoL), and the attitudes and practices of their caregivers. The common dental health problems included gingival bleeding, plaques, dental caries, and periodontal conditions. The authors agreed that the individuals had fair or compromised dental health status that required interventions. Conclusion: The training of professional providers should focus on providing dental care for SCI patients because of their special needs.


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