May 10, 2024


9:00 am

10:30 am

Integrating Oral Health into Speech-Language Pathology Practice

Oral health is defined as the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, and swallow while being free from mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infection and sores, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, tooth loss and other diseases. This definition highlights that oral health is broad, influences several functions central to overall health and quality of life, and encompasses much more than simply tooth or gum health in isolation. Furthermore, this definition highlights the considerable overlap between speech-language pathology scope of practice, which includes evaluation and management of the body functions and structures used to communicate and swallow, and oral health. Speech-language Pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat communication and swallowing disorders in clients across the lifespan. Part of this scope of practice includes the evaluation and management of oral health to varying degrees.