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.

What to Expect From a Dental Appointment

Post by: Gerarda on 15 Oct 2020

When you visit a dentist for the first time for an examination (check-up) or if you have an appointment for a specific problem, the dentist will ask you various questions about your symptoms. Some include:

• What is the problem?
• How long have you had the symptoms?
• Have your symptoms been constant or sporadic?
• How often do you brush your teeth?
• Do you brush before breakfast or after?
• Do you use dental floss? How often?
• How often do you visit a dentist?
• What if any medical conditions do you have?
• Has your health changed over the last year?
• What medications do you take? Take a list with dosages.

Make notes if you have sporadic symptoms as sometimes we think we will remember how we felt, but over time we forget. It is important for the dentist to know under which circumstances you have pain.

If you have pain on the day of your appointment try not to take a pain reliever too close to your appointment as it can mask your symptoms. Sometimes the pain is so unbearable though that you need to take something. If that is the case by all means do so. With pain on that level the dentist will diagnose the problem anyway.

Remember a visit to the dentist is not something to fear. The dentist and hygienist are there to help and make your visit as pleasant as possible.

Take control of your oral health by scheduling regular appointments for a check-up and clean.

 

 

National Dentist´s Day

Post by: Gerarda on 06 Mar 2020

March 6th every year we show appreciation to dentists all over the world who keep our pearly whites in tip top shape. This day is also a way to bring awareness to dentistry so that people can learn how best to care for their teeth. It is also a reminder for those who have neglected their teeth or avoid going to a dentist to schedule a checkup.

Nothing makes a dentist happier then when a patient arrives and it is obvious they have good oral hygiene as they brush and floss regularly.

What the patient can do:
1. Decide on an oral health routine. Include both brushing and flossing and remember to floss after you have brushed.
2. Book that dental checkup you have been putting off. Ask your dentist to show you have to brush your teeth so you are not wearing away enamel.
3. If you have children, brush their teeth until they are mature enough to do it for themselves. Once you have brushed your child´s teeth, give them the brush so they feel they are doing it as well.
4. Smile and show off those pearly whites. It shows the job you do and that of your dentist.
5. Take a picture of those beautiful teeth and post it on your social media accounts.

Tips for a healthy dental routine:
1. Brush at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes.
2. Brush gently using elliptical strokes.
3. Use a soft toothbrush.
4. Brush after eating.
5. Floss after brushing.
6. See your dentist twice a year or as your dentist recommends.
7. Eat a balanced diet and limit eating and drinking between meals.
8. Limit the amount of citrus you eat and drink.

A visit to a dentist is a scary proposition for many people. Remember though, dentistry has come a long way from when Dr. John M. Harris started the world’s first dental school in
Bainbridge, Ohio in 1828.

Evolving dental technology and education are two of the things that make a visit to a dentist much more pleasant than in earlier days. That being said nothing beats a dentist who has the hands of a sculptor, the precision of an engineer, the eye of an artist and the experience to combine all of these professions to carry out either a simple or a challenging treatment and still make the result look natural.

That is in essence Dr. Mikael G. Kahn or as he is so affectionately known, Mikael.