Assessing and managing oral symptoms

Oral problems in children’s palliative care

Children with certain conditions and illnesses, such as AIDS and cancer, are more prone to oral and mouth problems, which can be exacerbated by malnutrition. All oral problems encountered in children should be taken seriously not only because of the discomfort caused but also because they make eating, drinking and swallowing painful which will have a significant impact on the child’s quality of life.

Children with oral problems may present with a reluctance to eat, crying when feeding, excessive salivation, and difficult with swallowing.

General oral care for children

  • Keep the child’s mouth as moist as possible and encourage them to brush their teeth.
  • Encourage regular rinsing and gargling using a saline solution.
  • Gently clean the child’s tongue with a soft toothbrush.
  • Encourage the child to chew pineapple which contains an enzyme that helps to clean the mouth.



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