Oral Health and Kidney Health – What’s the Connection?

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kidney health month

National Kidney Health Awareness Month

March is National Kidney Health Awareness Month, and some maybe surprised that the health of your mouth and teeth is also related to the health of your kidneys.  What might be a minor infection for a healthy person could be major problem for someone with kidney disease. So it is important to avoid dental cavities and gum diseases.  The germs that cause cavities and gum disease don’t stay put and may spread throughout the body, especially if your immune system is weak. As a result, Infections caused by these germs can be serious. Also, if you have kidney disease, are on dialysis or are a kidney transplant recipient, be sure to tell your dentist.

Oral Hygiene

Excellent oral hygiene is important.  So, be sure to brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste and a soft bristle brush.  And, take your time. After all, there are three surfaces on each tooth that need to be brushed, and the two side surfaces flossed.  Lastly, be sure to floss at least once a day.

Some people  may have a “dry mouth” as a side effect of some drugs used to treat kidney diseases.  Therefore, to increase saliva, try chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless candy.

And never forget, to schedule and go to your regular dental exams.  It is important to detect and treat cavities and gum disease before they become serious.

Nutrition is Key

Most patients in the early stages of kidney disease need to limit the amount of sodium in their diet. Some patients may be told to limit protein in their diet as well.  For a full suite of nutritional advice visit the National Kidney Foundation’s website here:  https://www.kidney.org/nutrition

Key Links and Contacts 

Be sure to visit our Key Links and Contacts section on this page for more pointers from the National Kidney Foundation. 

Need to find a dentist? Search online here

Need to make an appointment or have other questions?  Call 855-CT-DENTAL (855-283-3682); M-F 8am-5pm.  TTY 711.  Language and transportation services available.

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March is National Kidney Health Month

Test your knowledge about kidney disease.

1 / 3

How many Americans have some form of Kidney Disease?

2 / 3

In 2018, how many Americans had kidney failure, and needed dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive?

Source:  American Kidney Foundation

3 / 3

In the U.S., 3% of 45-64 year olds are impacted by Chronic Kidney Disease.  Is Connecticut doing better or worse?

Source:  https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/CKD/state/CT

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The average score is 41%