Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 2651–2661 | Cite as

Guide for health professionals addressing oral care for individuals in oncological treatment based on scientific evidence

  • Caroline Gomes Carvalho
  • João Batista Medeiros-Filho
  • Meire Coelho FerreiraEmail author
Original Article



Oncological treatment can cause changes in the oral cavity compromising oral functions. The aim of the study was, based on a systematic review, to draft a guide directed at the team of health professionals involved in the oral care of oncological patients.


A systematic search of the literature was performed for articles published between 2000 and April 2017. Searches were made of electronic databases and hand search. The inclusion criteria were systematic reviews of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and RCTs published in English, involving pediatric and adult oncological patients and focused on the prevention and treatment of oral complications as well as studies addressing the maintenance of oral health. Among the 1237 studies identified, 129 were pre-selected and 54 were selected to form the basis for the clinical guide.


The studies analyzed stress the need for oral assessments as well as preventive and curative actions prior to oncological treatment. To minimize the severity of oral problems, the studies emphasize daily oral care, the treatment of xerostomia with saliva substitute and hydration, and low-level laser therapy, nystatin, acyclovir, respectively, for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis, oral candidiasis, and infection by herpes simplex virus. Thus, the guide produced addresses oral assessments and professional and home care before, during, and after oncological treatment.


The guide drafted has the function of assisting health professionals involved in the oral care of patients with cancer, enabling the prevention or treatment of oral complications stemming from oncological treatment.


Practice guideline Oral health Dental care Oral hygiene Chemotherapy Radiotherapy 


Funding information

The authors are grateful to the Brazilian fostering agency Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico do Maranhão (FAPEMA [State of Maranhão Research and Scientific/Technological Development Assistance Foundation]) for awarding a Scientific Initiation grant (Process No. 00205/16).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

520_2018_4111_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (89 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 88 kb)
520_2018_4111_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (123 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 122 kb)
520_2018_4111_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (100 kb)
ESM 3 (PDF 99 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Curso de OdontologiaUniversidade CeumaSão LuísBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto Maranhense de Oncologia Aldenora Bello, São LuísSão LuísBrazil
  3. 3.Curso de Odontologia e Programa de Pós-graduação em OdontologiaSão LuísBrazil

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