Original ArticleNURSING CARE & Management of Pathological Oral Conditions Among Women and ChildrenFehder, William P. PhD, CRNA Author Information William P. Fehder is a Clinical Associate Professor, New York University, College of Nursing, and Staff Nurse Anesthetist, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] The author has no professional or financial connection with any of the companies or products that are mentioned in this article. MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing 33(1):p 38-44, January 2008. | DOI: 10.1097/01.NMC.0000305656.86495.e2 Buy Metrics AbstractIn Brief Oral health is receiving increased recognition as an important factor for the health of women and children. This article describes pathological oral conditions and the physiological mechanisms involved in the maintenance of oral health during illness and hospitalization, including the importance of the production and secretion of adequate saliva. Alterations in physiology of saliva induced by hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy are described along with possible roles in pathophysiological conditions associated with pregnancy. The roles of xerostomia and periodontal disease as sources of pathological bacteria involved in aspiration pneumonia, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and chronic inflammation are described. The bidirectional interaction between oral health and general overall health is described, with special emphasis on cardiovascular disease. Specific evidence-based nursing measures to reduce the complications associated with poor oral health in at-risk patients are provided. Some oral conditions are clearly pathological. Dr. Fehder explains the most common oral pathogens, the diseases they cause, and what nurses should be doing to assess and manage them. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.