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How you can take care of Oral hygiene for an unconscious person

When we talk about oral care, we are inadvertently talking about mouth care which is a very important aspect of our body. Keeping our teeth and mouth clean helps us in protecting mouth infections and mouth odor. In this particular article, we will be talking about how to manage or maintain oral care for someone who is unconscious in the hospital.

This is actually very important as it will help guide against infections and help the patient to recover quickly and also guide against mouth odor. Our mouth normally serves as a gateway to our digestive and respiratory systems and can also be a gateway to harmful diseases.

Mouth Care for an unconscious patient

An unconscious patient normally breathes in through their oral cavity, this can cause secretions to dry out more quickly leading to a dry mouth. When this happens, they will need more frequent mouth care to manage a healthy state. Without this, many bacteria might build up thereby leading to oral diseases like gum disease and tooth decay.

Equipment needed for mouth care procedure for an unconscious person

To guarantee good mouth hygiene, there is some equipment that must be handy and available for someone taking care of a sick and unconscious person. This equipment includes:

a) Gloves

b) Mouth wash(

c) Fluoride toothpaste

d) very Soft-bristle toothbrush

e) Mouth gag (needed if the person is unconscious to open their mouth)

f) Kidney tray

g) A Denture soaking solution

I) A cotton ball that has a suction apparatus

j) Water e.t.c

k) Cotton balls or a Gauze piece

l) An irrigating bulb or aseptic syringe

m) Cotton balls that have an artery forceps

n) Tongue depressor padded with gauze

o) Towel

Mout care procedures when handling an unconscious person

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

These Procedures are for unconscious persons that can't take care of themselves and are not fit to feed themselves or even brush.

 1) The first thing to do is to arrange all the equipment on the bedside table.

 2) Make sure the sick person is in a very comfortable state, you can also lower one side of the rail.

3) Place the patient in a side position and raise the bed level so that the sick person is lying in a semi-sitting position.

4) Place a suction machine nearby

5) Wash your hands very well with an antiseptic soap with lukewarm water.

6) Wear your gloves after washing your hands.

7) Place a towel beneath the patient's chin and wrap it around his/her chest 

8) Place the kidney tray under the person's cheek or you can remove secretions by using the suction catheter.

9) Use the padded tongue depressor to open the person's teeth gently. Don't ever put your fingers into an unconscious person's mouth as it is very unhealthy.

10) Turn the person's head to yourself very gently.

11) Use the very soft bristle toothbrush with the fluoride toothpaste gently on the patient.

12) Use the irrigating bulb or the aseptic syringe without a needle in it to rinse the mouth. You can also use the suction to remove the pooled secretions.

13) Clean the mouth immediately after brushing and suction the toothpaste and saliva from the patient's mouth.

14) Wipe any extra water on the patient's mouth with a clean towel.

15) Remove the tray and dry off the patient's face, you can also apply a water lip moisturizer

16) Lie the patient back into a very comfortable position while you also lover the bed into its normal position.

17) Dispose of the gloves and wash your hands very well

18) Report and documents any findings made during the procedure.

Mouth care Instructions:

These instructions must be maintained when taking care of an unconscious person oral cavity:

1. Sit the person very upright to prevent them from having aspiration during the mouth cleaning procedure.

2. Inspect the person's vanity for a sign of edema, redness, bleeding, or even dryness.

3. Choose the right cleaning products.

4. Avoid mouth care with hydrogen peroxide if the person has oral thrush or oral lesions.

5. You can use a toothbrush to brush the teeth but use an electric suction brush too to reduce the risk of aspiration of bad water.

6. If the patient has dentures present, kindly remove them, gently brush them and rinse. Also recommended to soak the dentures overnight.

7. When brushing the patient, do so in a circular manner at about a 45-degree angle.

8. Recommended to brush up to 2 minutes to remove all the build-up plaque.

9. Remember to use anti-fungal and anti-bacterial mouthwash to reduce the possibility of infection

Content created and supplied by: DrGeraldine (via Opera News )

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