Respiratory Bacteria in Oral Biofilm and Saliva

Oral bacterial biofilm contains an estimated 700 species including oral as well as respiratory pathogens. Medically important pathogens include Enterobacter, Hemophilus and various strains of pneumoniae bacteria. Respiratory pathogens in oral biofilm can be released into the saliva and aspirated into the lungs of hospitalized patients, especially those who have a breathing tube in place.

Clinical Implications: Oral hygiene for hospitalized, intubated patients should be considered not only for oral health, but also to prevent aspiration of bacteria into the lungs.