The Oral-Lung Axis: The Impact of Oral Health on Lung Health

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Poor oral health has long been recognized as a clinical risk factor for developing lung infections. Recent data using culture-independent techniques assessing the microbiome in healthy subjects have demonstrated that chronic microaspiration establishes a very similar microbial community between the mouth and lung, suggesting these 2 anatomic regions are closely intertwined. Dental disease is driven and aided by a dysbiosis in the oral microbiome, and evidence is mounting that implicates the microbiome in a variety of lung diseases including asthma, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, and pneumonia. This review describes common dental conditions and potential mechanisms by which poor oral health may contribute to lung disease. We also review the current literature drawing associations between poor oral health and lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1211-1220
Number of pages10
JournalRespiratory care
Issue number8
Early online dateMar 2020
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported in part by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development. The contents of the publication do not represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Daedalus Enterprises.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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