Importance of oral care for patients in vegetative state.
Kakko’s original rehabilitation method for Miyapu made “a miracle”, while it was beyond imagination for most doctors. As shown in this case, it is useful to stimulate patients with conscious problems in order to regenerate mind and body. Oral care is one of them; it can also help prevent pneumonia. The importance of oral care is now becoming widely acknowledged. Together with this Snow White project, I hope information will reach the wide audience.
1. Oral care with toothbrush and sponge stimulates brain cells and activates them.
It is said that people who use their hands a lot are less likely to get dementia. This is because many brain regions are related to control fingers. Brain regions that control the parts of the mouth like gums, cheek and tongue are connected to trigeminal nerve. And stimulation sent through trigeminal nerve directly activates signal to many regions of the brain. Therefore, oral care with toothbrush and other tools stimulates many regions of the brain. There are study reports that show improvements in mind and body conditions like dementia as a result of oral care provided. On the other hand, if stimulation to the mouth is reduced on the person who is bedridden, negative effects can be considered like rapid acceleration of dementia.
2.Prevention of aspiration pneumonia
Regardless of their conscious condition, many bedridden patients die from pneumonia. In most cases, cause of pneumonia is aspiration, where contaminated saliva and food get into trachea instead of esophagus. You might think aspiration pneumonia is only for those who are able to eat food through their mouth, but this is not true. If inner surface of mouth is not clean, plaque and clumps of bacteria gets into trachea with the saliva. It can results in pneumonia. A report says that pneumonia is decreased by 40% from cleaning mouth cavity.
Furthermore, when you give oral care, talk to them, and pray and believe whole heartedly for their recovery.
An amateur approach to oral care may increase possibility of aspiration pneumonia. Please consult with dentists and dental hygienists for advice.
The chief of Miyauchi dental office
1954 Born in Miyagi prefecture
1972 Graduated from Sendai second high school
1980 Graduated from Tokyo Medical and Dental University
1983 Open Miyauchi dental office