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NHS Dentistry & Oral Health Update: Monkeypox

By NHS/OralHealth | 29th June 2022 | News

The UKHSA continues to monitor Monkeypox cases confirmed in England and to work with the NHS and the public health agencies of the 4 nations to monitor and investigate the monkeypox outbreak in England. Monkeypox does not spread easily between people and dental teams should continue to follow current NHS England guidance on the use of PPE. This can be found in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM) for England and remains consistent with UKHSA guidance.

It is recommended that all non-urgent medical and dental appointments should be cancelled for infected people who are isolating at home but if emergency treatment is required then full PPE needs to be worn by the dental team.

Presentation of oral lesions

If a patient presents with oral lesions, then supportive management should be offered as for other oral blistering viral illnesses. This may include:

  • topical analgesia and use of analgesic/anti-inflammatory mouthwash
  • good oral hygiene - use of a soft toothbrush, a 'bland' toothpaste and use of an antiseptic mouthwash such as chlorhexidine

If concerned, seek urgent advice from your local Oral Medicine or Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) Consultant, and provide a comprehensive history as per your local area arrangements. Each region will be able to confirm the contact details for your designated Oral Medicine and/or OMFS Consultant.

The Monkeypox: What you need to know infographic provided by the World Health Organisation highlights the risk of mouth to skin transmission.

We will cascade further guidance when it is provided by NHS England/Improvement and the UK Health Security Agency.

Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer England and 

Ali Sparke Director for Dentistry, Community Pharmacy, Optometry and the NHS Standard Contract

Read the full June NHS Dentistry and Oral Health Update 

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