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The importance of oral health in palliative care patients

The mouth is the ‘gateway’ to the body; it is central and pivitol to how we eat, communicate, laugh, cry and love. Thus, it deserves to be cared for, nurtured and respected like other areas of the body. If asked if mouth care is important to patients’ health and quality of life, the majority of healthcare professionals in any care setting will answer ‘yes’. Why is it then that the mouth or oral cavity is often neglected? This article explores different oral conditions that can develop in patients at the end of life, and the impact that they can have on their quality of life, and why oral care gets ‘missed’ and how this can be changed.