Editorial: Oral Health


Terry Fulmer, Rita Jablonski, Elizabeth Mertz, Mary George, Stefanie Russell

Jul. 05, 2012

The Institute of Medicine has called for nurses to play a greater role in oral health. Nurses often provide care for the vulnerable populations that are least likely to receive necessary, health-sustaining dental care. The link between mouth care, oral health and systemic health is well documented, yet nurses are often hesitant to do anything beyond basic oral hygiene. Nurses, therefore, need to reframe mouth care as oral infection control and infection control. They can provide the preventive measures that are crucial to minimizing systemic infections. These problems, and their solutions, can be approached from three perspectives: nursing education, practice and research.

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