Systematic review of basic oral care for the management of oral mucositis in cancer patients
Immunosuppressive chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation are increasingly used to treat and, in some cases, cure numerous malignant conditions. The systemic sequelae as a result of these immunosuppressive techniques lead to a host of oral and dental complications. The direct and indirect stomatotoxic effects lead to development of ulcerative, hemorrhagic, or infectious complications that potentially can lead to increased mortality and morbidity. Chlorhexidine was studied to evaluate its broad spectrum antimicrobial properties and to evaluate its effect on immunosuppression-induced mucositis. Our double-blind randomized study revealed that chlorhexidine versus controls had considerable effect in the bone marrow transplant cohort. Patients who received chlorhexidine while undergoing bone marrow transplantation were found to exhibit fewer and less painful mucositis lesions. This study supports prophylactic use of chlorhexidine in patients who undergo bone marrow transplantation.