We are not supporting this browser


Top tips - Good oral hygiene in people with swallowing problems

Having dysphagia can make oral hygiene difficult to maintain - read this article to find out why it’s so important

​Part of our Top Tips series for Dysphagia management

Good oral hygiene is important as it makes the mouth feel comfortable and helps to prevent halitosis. Brushing stimulates the mouth and production of saliva and reduces hypersensitivity. If you have difficulty or pain in swallowing due to dysphagia, it is more important than ever to have good oral hygiene. Food and liquid that isn’t removed from the mouth may enter the lungs which may cause harmful bacteria to grow and cause chest infections. A serious infection can result in aspiration pneumonia.

It is paramount that the oral health is addressed on a daily basis:

  • The appropriate posture is important to support swallowing. Avoid tilting the head backwards as this obstructs swallowing. If possible sit in a suitable chair with your feet firmly on the ground. If the patient is bed bound raise the bed to an incline and use pillows to support the back, head, neck and shoulders. Tilt the head forward and to one side
  • Brush teeth twice a day with a medium textured/small headed toothbrush
  • Use a fluoride low foaming toothpaste e.g. Nurse,Sensodyne, Proenamel, Biotene and NO water
  • Spit, or gently wipe the mouth after brushing, to keep the fluoride in the mouth to strengthen enamel of teeth. You do not need to use water when cleaning the teeth. Just wipe excess away with a tissue/towel

Watch our video for a demonstration

You may also be interested in

Nutricia uses cookies on this website. With your consent we will use them to measure and analyze usage of the website (analytical cookies), to tailor it to your interests (personalisational cookies), and to present you relevant advertising and information (targeting cookies). For more information please read the cookie policy.

Privacy Settings

You can choose your preferences anytime for cookies and tracking. For more information please read our cookie policy.

  • Strictly necessary

    They are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services (setting your privacy preferences, logging in, filling in forms, etc.). You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work.

  • Analytical cookies

    They allow us to count visits and traffic sources, to measure and improve the performance of our site. They show us which pages are the most and least popular and how visitors move around the site. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

  • Personalisation cookies

    They enable website’s enhanced functionality and personalisation. They may be set by us or by third parties whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

  • Targeting cookies

    They may be set through our site by our advertising partners, to build a profile of your interests and to show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.