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The Oral Care Imperative: The Link Between Oral Hygiene and Aspiration Pneumonia

Yoon, Minn N. BSc; Steele, Catriona M. PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.TGR.0000284771.24711.6a

Oral health has increasingly become a priority issue for healthcare agencies in North America and worldwide. This review article attempts to (1) inform various healthcare providers of the risk factors that can arise from poor oral hygiene, specifically aspiration pneumonia; (2) report the mechanisms of bacterial colonization that are responsible for the development of aspiration pneumonia and the factors that can influence these mechanisms; and (3) propose an interdisciplinary approach to enhance oral care delivery that is imperative to limiting the risks of developing systemic diseases such as aspiration pneumonia.

From the Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto (Ms Yoon and Dr Steele), and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Dr Steele), Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Corresponding author: Minn N. Yoon, BSc, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto, 550 University Ave, 12th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2A2 (e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.