Mouth care is very commonly neglected in people with life-limiting illness and in the elderly and frail. However, people with life-limiting illnesses, the treatments required to manage them and the medications used for symptom management, have significant effects on the mouth. The focus of this chapter will be on good oral assessment and care of the mouth in order to maximize quality of life, maintain self-esteem, feelings of well-being and comfort at the end-of-life. The compartmentalization involved in viewing the mouth separately from the rest of the body must cease because oral health affects general health by causing considerable pain and suffering and by changing what people eat, their speech, and their quality of life and well-being (Sheiham 2005).
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