• oral;
  • Staphylococcus aureus;
  • health promotion

Oral Diseases (2012) 18, 244–254

The oral cavity serves as a reservoir of Staphylococcus aureus for infection of the lower respiratory tract and cross-infection to other patients. This systematic review was designed to examine the effectiveness of oral health promotion interventions on this pathogen. The PubMed, ISI Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for clinical trials assessing the effect of oral health promotion interventions on oral and oropharyngeal carriage of S. aureus. Oral health promotion interventions on oral reservoirs of S. aureus in both systemically healthy and medically compromised groups consisted of oral hygiene interventions only. There was a lack of evidence pertaining to the effectiveness of mechanical oral hygiene interventions against this pathogen. Chlorhexidine delivered in oral hygiene products such as mouthrinses, gels, and sprays appeared to have some utility against S. aureus, although some studies found equivocal effects. There was a dearth of studies investigating the efficacy of other chemical agents. Although many chemical agents contained in oral hygiene products have proven in vitro activity against S. aureus, their clinical effectiveness and potential role as adjuncts or alternative therapies to conventional treatment remain to be confirmed by further high-quality randomized controlled trials.