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Love Your Teeth, Love Your Kidneys

Did you know that if you suffer from kidney problems, you are at risk to experience other health complications?  In cases of kidney disease, the immune system gradually becomes weaker, increasing your chance of getting infections. Subsequently, you may want to consider how your condition puts you at risk for oral complications.

Patients with kidney issues are prone to developing oral conditions like dry mouth, halitosis, and unsavory tastes in their mouths. Your body has trouble absorbing calcium properly, which may cause bone loss in the jaw and cause problems with chewing. In advanced cases, this may also lead to tooth loss. You are also at an increased risk for inflammation of the mouth and salivary glands, as well as a plaque and gum disease.

However, good oral health habits help control and minimize such complications. To prevent or reduce bad breath, brush your teeth at least 2 to 3 times daily. Always use mouthwash and floss carefully (flossing hard can cut the gums and increase your chances of infection).  Be sure not to neglect cleaning your tongue, as it can quickly become a cesspool for all sorts of odor-causing bacteria if it is not cleaned regularly.  Many toothbrushes have a scrubbing applicator on the opposite side of the bristles.  Smoking, drinking alcohol and of course, drug use are all are detrimental to your teeth (and your health) so they should be strictly avoided.

Dental Visitations & Kidney Disease

If you are a hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis patient, you may want to consider working with a holistic dentistry practice.  Such a dentist will make sure to schedule your dental treatment a day after your dialysis treatment. Having a shunt also puts you at a higher risk for certain infections, so don’t be surprised if your doctor prescribes you with antibiotics before your dental appointment.

If your kidney disease is severe enough to require a transplant, your primary physician may recommend putting off any dental work until at least three months later. Even then, though, you should visit your doctor first and ask for a medical release before going to your dentist. Your physician will determine if you are still at risk of developing an infection or excessive bleeding during the dental procedure. Your doctor and dentist will communicate so that your whole health is not compromised.

During the three months after your operation, your medication may include types that can suppress your immune system. This medicine can cause certain complications in your mouth, such as:

  • Sores
  • A fungal infection causing white patches in your mouth known as Thrush
  • Periodontitis or gum disease
  • Dry mouth
  • Bleeding and infection in the gums
  • Oral cancer

At Rabile Family Dentistry, we have trained dentists who understand the unique challenges that kidney issues present to patients.  If you are currently dealing with kidney disease, please feel free to contact us.  We continue to aid several kidney patients in leading a normal life while maintaining beautiful smiles.

Need to schedule a visit?  Call us today at (972) 756-9557.

 

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