Dental health has been shown to be a significant independent factor in patients suffering from End Stage Renal Disease (“ERSD”). A recent study released at the 51st Congress of the European Renal Association–European Dialysis and Transplant Association found that good oral hygiene practices greatly improved the survival rate of those patients. The most common cause of renal (kidney) disease is diabetes.
Specific Dental Health Factors
The study found the following dental health factors increased the risk of death by:
- 27% in patients with no teeth, and
- 67% in patients with more than 14 decayed, missing of filled teeth.
The study appears to show a clear and significant correlation between dental health and the risk of mortality in patients with ESRD. The main take away from this study is: Good dental health is critically important for patients with kidney disease.
Dental Hygiene Practices For Longer Life
Patients with kidney disease were found to live longer if they implemented a healthy routine of oral hygiene, including:
- Daily brushing
- Daily flossing
- Changing toothbrushes at least every 3 months, and
- Spending at least 2 minutes each day on oral hygience.
Poor dental health and oral disease are common problems in the general population. Poor dental health and oral disease are preventable healthcare issues that lead to further healthcare problems for people suffering from kidney disease. According to the National Diabetes Education Program at the National Institutes of Health, more than 25 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. NDEP estimates that an additional 79 million Americans over the age of 20 are pre-diabetic.
Regular Dental Care is Important
The survival statistics above are startling. We see that dental health is a key factor in determining the life span of patients with kidney disease. We also see that daily dental hygiene is a particularly urgent matter for those patients. In many case, your dentist will be able to detect the symptoms of oral disease long before it becomes a serious health issue. Regular comprehensive dental examinations should be a routine part of your personal healthcare.