Mouth Care Matters is delighted to be working in partnership with the Royal Hospital of Neuro-disability (RHN) to develop an oral health training programme to support staff and families caring for people with a neurodisability.
The hospital provides specialist help to patients with a wide range of complex neurological disabilities caused by damage to the brain or other parts of the nervous system as a result of brain haemorrhage, traffic accidents or progressive neurological conditions such as Huntington’s disease or motor neurone disease. It includes people who are highly dependent and have complex care needs, people in a minimally aware state, people with challenging behaviour and people needing mechanical ventilation.
People with a neuro-disability present with a special set of challenges for maintaining good oral health. Jaw clenching and a strong bite reflex can make it difficult to brush teeth and clean mouths. Lip biting is common and challenging to manage long term, and many people will have oral sensory issues.
The link between periodontal health and chest infections has been recognised, and research is currently being carried out by the Dental Department at the hospital examining this important area.
The RHN onsite dental team will be leading on the Mouth Care Matters initiative. They will work with the multidisciplinary team to look at ways to support staff/families and patients with up-to-date evidence based mouth care.
The team are planning to develop additional training resources for patients with neurodisability to complement the existing Mouth Care Matters programme and will become a training hub for other centres that care for patients with neurodisability.
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