Mouth care for the unconscious patient Mouth care is especially important for an unconscious patient. Special precautions need to be taken. If possible, position the patient on his or her side, near the edge of the bed. Wash your hands. Put a little basin under the patient's chin with a towel under it to catch any water that drips. Open the patient's mouth very gently with a tongue blade or other object, such as a spoon. Clean the teeth and membranes, then rinse the mouth by injecting a little water into the mouth with a syringe. Or use a moistened swab or cloth to rinse the mouth. If you inject water into the patient's mouth, make sure that it all runs out of the side of the mouth or suction the mouth to get it out. Fluid left in the mouth could choke the patient. It could be breathed into the lungs and cause pneumonia. After cleaning the patient's mouth, wash your hands.