Changes in the Oral Moisture and the Amount of Microorganisms in Saliva and Tongue Coating after Oral Ingestion Resumption: A Pilot Study

The Open Dentistry Journal 25 Mar 2016 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874210601610010079


Background and Objective:

Tube feeding has been significantly associated with a higher rate of aspiration pneumonia that is mainly related to oral microorganisms and a reduced salivary flow. Thus, the difference in the mode of nutritional intake is expected to affect the oral environment, but this has not yet been fully clarified. The purpose of this study was to investigate, in tube-fed patients, changes in the oral moisture and the counts of microorganisms in saliva and tongue coating, which occur after oral ingestion resumption.


Study participants were 7 tube-fed inpatients of the Niigata University Medical and Dental Hospital (72.7±8.5 years old) who received dysphagia rehabilitation at the Unit of Dysphagia Rehabilitation until oral ingestion resumption. Their oral health, swallowing, and nutrition status, oral mucosal moisture, amount of unstimulated saliva and the counts of microorganisms (total microorganisms, streptococci, Candida) in saliva and tongue coating were investigated and compared before and after the recommencement of oral intake.


Tongue coating, choking, oral mucosal moisture and amount of unstimulated saliva were improved significantly after resumption of oral ingestion. The other investigated parameters did not significantly change, except for the streptococci in tongue coating, which significantly increased 1 week after oral ingestion recommencement, but decreased thereafter.


After oral intake resumption, oral mucosal moisture and amount of unstimulated saliva were improved. However, because of a transitory increase in the counts of streptococci with oral ingestion recommencement, it is important to appropriately manage oral hygiene in these patients, according to the changes in their intraoral microbiota.

Keywords: Dysphagia, dysphagia rehabilitation, oral ingestion resumption, oral microorganisms, oral mucosal moisture, unstimulated saliva.
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