The Teeth & Kidney Connection

Post by: Gerarda on 15 Mar 2021

March is National Kidney Month, a time when people take part in activities to raise awareness about kidney disease. While this year’s focus is on “taking charge of your health and the many factors that go into managing your kidney disease”, my focus is on teeth and kidney disease.

Despite the fact that chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 1.7 million people in Europe and 37 million people in America, it is often overlooked until symptoms appear. By that time it is usually very advanced. CKD is progressive and can put a person at risk for other serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones and of course kidney failure.

Although good dental care is important for everyone, it is especially so for people with kidney disease.

Cavities and gum disease are chronic bacterial infection. It is essential for everyone to have these treated, but even more so for someone with kidney disease. If left untreated oral bacteria and inflammation don’t stay in the mouth, but travel throughout the body, especially if you have a weak immune system. Chronic infections create continuous inflammation which is especially harmful to people with kidney disease.

Along with screening for all types of infections, even a dental check-up is required for any person being evaluated for a kidney transplant. That is how important infection and inflammation are to the transplant process. If problems are identified during the examination, the kidney transplant will be delayed or even cancelled depending on the severity of them.

It is important to remember what might start out being a minor infection for a healthy person could become a major problem for someone with kidney disease. Infections in the body that are normally helped by the body´s natural healing system of inflammation cause serious harm in CKD patients who have prolonged or chronic infection. Anti-rejection medication used after a transplant weakens the body´s defenses against infection.

If you have kidney disease, are on dialysis, have had a kidney transplant or in the screening process, it is important that you tell your dentist.

The Bitter Truth of Lemons

Post by: Gerarda on 10 Mar 2021

The biggest delinquent in tooth erosion (loss of tooth enamel) is acidic drinks. People are constantly being told that drinking the juice of a lemon the first thing in the morning is a great detox for the liver or the gastrointestinal tract. What you are not told is the fact that lemon is a highly acidic food. While lemon might be good for your digestive system and a good source for Vitamin C it is not good for your teeth.

If you must drink lemon juice, drink it with 250ml of warm water (not hot) to lessen the acidity. After drinking the lemon water, rinse your mouth with water immediately. This removes any acid that may remain on the tooth surface and reduces the acidity of your saliva.

DO NOT brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after drinking the lemon water.

Use a soft toothbrush with a fluoride toothpaste (fluoride strengthens tooth enamel) and brush gently. The acid in the juice softens tooth enamel and makes it more prone to erosion during brushing.