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Oral health and speech-language pathology practice (Affoo & Hachey, 2022)

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posted on 20.04.2022, 16:57 authored by Rebecca H. Affoo, Shauna Hachey

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to propose and outline the role that speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have in oral health care. Additional goals include describing oral health, describing the relationships between oral health and overall health, and providing information about oral health assessment and management practices, as well as resources appropriate for use by SLPs.

Conclusions: Oral health is critical to overall health and a marker of health equity. An alarming number of people in the United States, such as those living on a low income, experience significant barriers to accessing oral health care. SLPs work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat communication and swallowing disorders for clients across the lifespan. Part of this scope of practice includes the evaluation and management of oral health to varying degrees. Integrating basic oral health care into speech-language pathology practice has the potential to improve oral health equity for several priority populations.


Supplemental Material S1. Oral health care resources for non-dental healthcare professionals; the dos and don’ts of denture care. 


Affoo, R. H., & Hachey, S. (2022). Integrating oral health in speech-language pathology practice: A viewpoint. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_PERSP-21-00277

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