Jpn. J. Infect. Dis., 60 (1), 23-28, 2007

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Original Article

Effects of Oral Care on Development of Oral Mucositis and Microorganisms in Patients with Esophageal Cancer

Saori Yoneda1,4*, Susumu Imai2, Nobuhiro Hanada2, Tsuneyoshi Yamazaki 3, Hidenobu Senpuku4, Yojiro Ota5 and Hiroshi Uematsu1

1Department of Gerodontology, 3Section of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8549; 2Department of Oral Health, National Institute of Public Health, Tokyo 351-0197; 4Department of Bacteriology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo 162-8640; and 5Department of Oral Surgery, Shizuoka Cancer Center, Shizuoka 411-8777, Japan

(Received July 24, 2006. Accepted November 10, 2006)

*Corresponding author: Mailing address: Department of Gerodontology, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0002, Japan. Tel & Fax: +81-3-5803-4560, E-mail:

SUMMARY: We evaluated the effects of special oral care using a toothbrush with combined irrigation and suctioning functions, along with povidone-iodine to treat oral bacteria and mucositis, in esophageal cancer patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy. In the special care group, oral hygiene was performed 3 days a week after dinner. Bacteria in saliva and plague samples were measured at various sampling points after chemoradiotherapy. The incidence of mucositis was significantly reduced in the special care group in comparison with the control group. Total streptococci were significantly decreased in the opportunistic pathogens-positive and lower-level mutans streptococci control group during chemoradiotherapy, but they were not reduced in the opportunistic pathogens-negative and higher-level mutans streptococci control groups or in the special care group. Our results showed that a special oral care regimen enabled the total population of streptococci microflora to remain stable, was negatively correlated with opportunistic pathogens and positively correlated with mutans streptococci infection, and prevented the development of mucositis.

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