CKD & Dialysis Patients Can Improve Overall Health Outcomes By Using Easy Tips For Oral Health



Have you suffered from a toothache, visible holes or pits in the teeth, sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks or swelling around the jaw? If so, you're not alone. The Journal of Clinical Periodontology reported that "people with kidney disease and those on Dialysis are more likely to have Periodontal Disease (infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth) and other oral health problems than the general population." Good dental health isn’t just about sparkling teeth and keeping your gums looking good. The buildup of bacteria in the mouth can cause infections. Since, Chronic Kidney Disease patients, especially those on Dialysis, already have weakened immune systems, infections of the mouth could lead to big problems including making a patient ineligible for a Kidney Transplant. However, there are foods which patients can eat and others they may consider avoiding to prevent issues and improve their dental health. 

Research has highlighted that nutrients found in fruits and vegetables  may strengthen immunity and improve the body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, all of which can help protect the teeth and gums. Delta Dental Insurance Company takes this idea a step further by noting, "some foods and dietary habits even have distinct effects on the mouth’s ability to handle cavity-causing bacteria attacks." 

Recommended Reading: Natural Ways Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Improve Oral Health And Increase Chances For Transplant

“Adequate nutrition is important in disease prevention, and nutritional counseling is becoming an increasingly important tactic in preventive dentistry,” said Kevin Sheu (Delta Dental senior dental consultant). The following are quick, easy-to-use tips for Chronic Kidney Disease patients, including those on Dialysis, to immediately protect and improve their dental health:

1. Are you chewing too long? Foods that take a long time to chew or that you hold in your mouth (such as cough drops) can actually damage a patient's teeth because they retain sugar in the mouth longer than other foods. 

2. Avoid acidic foods and drinks. Foods and drinks that are considered acidic include grains, sugar, dairy products, fish, processed foods, and meats like corned beef and turkey. These types of dietary choices can wear away enamel, leaving the teeth sensitive, cracked and discolored? Try to limit them the best you can by using alternatives or just eat them in moderation.

3.  Vitamin D can help promote healthy teeth and bones which may reduce the risk of tooth loss. Ask your Healthcare Team for a Vitamin D supplement that they may recommend if you are not getting enough of this essential vitamin.

4. Crisp fruits and vegetables are often the freshest. Options such as crisp apples, carrots, and celery also have been found to help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.

5. Fresh cranberries have been found to work as a great buffer and interrupt the bonding of oral bacteria before they can form damaging plaque in the mouth.

Recommended Reading: How can CKD Patients Correct the Bad Taste in Their Mouth

Nutrients from fruits and vegetables help to protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection. Hence, instead of snacking on sugary, carbohydrate-rich or acidic foods throughout the day, try to limit them and work with your Dietitian to incorporate these fruit and vegetable options into your regular dietary plan. 

Recommended Reading: Chronic Kidney Disease And Diabetic Patients At Risk Of Mouth Complications Without Proper Care

How do you maintain a healthy mouth? Share your tips with the over 37,600 Friends who have liked the Facebook Fan Page (click here). Also, visit every day for the latest breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives. 

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