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On Dialysis? Tips for your Dentist visit

If you or someone you know has kidney disease, don’t neglect your dental health. Kidney disease is associated with many dental health complications, including increased risk of periodontal disease, tooth loss, and inflammation of the salivary glands.So it’s important to maintain a consistent oral health routine, including regular dental visits.

In addition, kidney disease can cause chronic bad breath because diseased kidneys can’t remove urea from the blood, and it breaks down to form ammonia, which creates an unpleasant smell.

People with kidney disease should schedule dental visits for days that immediately follow a dialysis day.

They should also follow these steps at each dental visit:

  • List your meds: Be sure that your dentist has a list of all your medications.
  • Pre-medicate: Most physicians recommend that kidney disease patients take antibiotics before receiving dental treatments because they are at increased risk of infections due to the presence of the shunt used for dialysis. The shunt is a tube that is surgically attached to a blood vessel in the arm or leg of a patient with kidney disease so that is connected to the dialysis machine during the dialysis process.
  • Place blood pressure cuff properly: Tell your dentist or whoever is taking your blood pressure where your shunt is located and be sure that they place the blood pressure cuff on an arm or leg that doesn’t contain the shunt.

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