Maintaining oral health is important for hospitalised patients as it can affect quality of life and personal dignity. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the impact of hospitalization on oral health.
The authors searched Cochrane library, Medline, OldMedline, Embase and CINAHL without language restrictions for longitudinal prospective observational studies in individuals of all ages being hospitalized that assessed changes of the following outcomes: tooth loss, any measures of periodontal health, dental caries and stomatological diseases.
Papers were reviewed independently with risk of bias being assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa assessment scale and a narrative synthesis conducted.
They included five before and after studies and found that the data suggested a deterioration in oral health following hospitalization with an increase in dental plaque accumulation and gingival inflammation and a deterioration in mucosal health. While the included before and after studies are seen to be at general risk of bias their other study characteristics were thought to have a low risk of bias . There is a concern that the use of unvalidated outcome measures and the lack of assessor training may limit the strength of the evidence
Hospitalization is associated with a deterioration in oral health, particularly in intubated patients.
Terezakis E, Needleman I, Kumar N, Moles D, Agudo E. The impact of hospitalization on oral health: a systematic review. J Clin Periodontol. 2011 Jul;38(7):628-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2011.01727.x. Epub 2011 Apr 7. Review.PubMed PMID: 21470276.