Kidney Disease & Your Oral Health - What You Need To Know
If you have kidney disease, it can be hard to fight off minor infections. Minor infections such as gum disease and tooth decay can pose a bigger threat to a person that has kidney disease than a person with normal kidney function.
Not only are minor infections a bigger threat, but a study done by the Journal of Clinical Periodontology showed that an individual affected by kidney disease is more likely to have oral health problems.
It is imperative to prevent your oral health from deteriorating into a problem for your immune system. Here’s what you need to know to help prevent bad oral hygiene from transforming into something more serious.
How Your Oral Health Affects Your Immune System
Weakened immune systems are at a greater disadvantage with oral infections. This is because they are more susceptible to chronic inflammation. Inflammation in short bursts is your body's natural way of fighting off the bacteria it doesn't want.
Inflammation becomes a problem when it tries to fight off difficult or chronic infections because it creates inflammation constantly. If you have chronic inflammation in your mouth it can constrict your blood vessels, which can lead to larger heart problems down the road.
Also, bacteria that starts in your mouth and creates gum disease or cavities may not stay in your mouth. If left untreated, the germs can spread to other parts of your body.
Be sure to tell your dentist about your kidney disease. They will be able to guide you in the right direction for treatment of existing cavities and other oral health concerns.
How Can You Lessen the Impact of Oral Health Problems
There are two main components of oral health care that can lessen the impact of oral health problems on your immune system and the rest of your body.
The first component is to maintain great dental hygiene. The second component is making and keeping regular appointments with your dentist.
Let’s take a closer look at both of these components and the role they play in lessening the impact of your oral health problems.
Maintain Great Dental Hygiene
Maintaining great dental hygiene is critical in preventing oral health problems. This includes curating a daily oral health routine and sticking to it. You can do things such as making sure to brush twice a day, floss every night, and use a mouthwash twice a day.
You should also choose to use oral hygiene products like toothpaste, dental gels, and mouthwash that contain fluoride. Fluoridated products can help your teeth withstand the daily rigors of eating and drinking.
It is important to rid yourself of the normal daily bacteria in your mouth before you go to bed. If you go to sleep without brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash then your mouth becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. This bacteria can cause oral health problems like cavities, dry mouth, and inflammation. It can also cause bad breath.
Regular Dentist Appointments
Another part of having great oral health is making and keeping regularly scheduled appointments with your dentist. If you go twice a year you can be sure you don’t have any pesky cavities forming that could turn into bigger headaches further down the road if left untreated.
Your dentist will be able to prescribe an oral health treatment plan for you and give you the full picture on what you need to do with your lower immune system in mind.
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