March is Kidney Disease Awareness Month! Dr. Mary Rose explains how tooth decay and gum disease can lead to infections that can cause problems for people with kidney disease.
Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that coats the teeth. The sugars and starches of the food we eat reacts with the plaque, causing it to release acids. The acids wear away the hard tooth enamel, eventually leading to cavities and tooth decay.
Diabetes is one of the major causes of chronic kidney disease. If your renal disease is caused by diabetes you are more prone to cavities, gum disease, fungal infections, and delayed healing. Some diabetic patients suffer from dry mouth which can lead to an increase in plaque.
People with kidney disease have weakened immune systems making them more susceptible to infections. These patients are at risk for bone loss in the jaw due to calcium imbalance. Patients with kidney disease need to make sure their calcium and phosphorus levels stay within the healthy range.
Dr. Mary Rose recommends brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and making regular hygiene visits to her office to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.