Oral hygiene protocol for maxillofacial cancer patients treated with or without adjuvant radiotherapy
Background: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of an oral hygiene protocol for the improvement of oral health and periodontal conditions in maxillofacial cancer patients.
Patients and methods: The study comprised 30 patients, 12 men (40 %) and 18 women (60 %), with a mean age of 54 ± 15 years (range, 39–69 years). They were all oral cancer patients, not completely edentulous, treated either with or without adjuvant radiotherapy. They were scheduled for a standardized protocol of five medical examinations every 20 days. The plaque index (PI) and the community periodontal index of treatment needs (CPITN) were used to asses oral hygiene and periodontal conditions, recorded on a 3-point scale (poor/good/optimum).
Results: Poor oral hygiene conditions were reported in 26 patients (86.66 %, group 1) on the first medical examination (T0), while four patients (13.34 %, group 2) had good oral hygiene.
Group 1 continued with the scheduled check-ups every 20 days (T1, T2, T3, and T4), while group 2 needed only a second medical examination (T1) to achieve an optimum state of oral health.
At the end of the treatment, 24 patients (80 %) reached good/optimum (n = 16 and n = 8, respectively) oral hygiene and were therefore included in the maintenance program (1/90 days).
The remaining part of the sample (n = 6, 20 %) showed poor oral hygiene after five medical examinations and is currently in treatment to improve periodontal conditions and oral hygiene.
Conclusions: The development of a protocol for oral hygiene in maxillofacial cancer patients increases the success of prosthetic rehabilitation and improves their quality of life.