Activities of daily living such as routine oral care are often a challenge for patients with an acute stroke because of the consequences of the disease process. Neurological injury poses additional challenges to performing oral hygiene, such as physical impairments (caused by hemiplegia, hemiparesis, or dysphagia) and functional deficits, placing patients with these types of injuries at increased risk for complications such as aspiration pneumonia. A review of the literature on hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia, oral health, and plaque prevention strategies identified opportunities for improvement within the critical care setting.2-7  Good oral health assists a patient in speaking and eating, and benefits their systemic health, rehabilitation, and quality of life, making it an essential practice of holistic care. In addition to reducing oral inflammation, providing comfort and satisfaction, and supporting holistic care, frequent oral care may control the...

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