Study Suggests Poor Oral Health and End-Stage Kidney Disease Are a Deadly Combination
Research shows that patients who receive hemodialysis due to end-stage kidney disease are at increased risk of oral disease, and they often have limited access to professional oral health services.
Research shows that patients who receive hemodialysis due to end-stage kidney disease are at increased risk of oral disease, and they often have limited access to professional oral health services. The relationship between oral health and mortality in this patient population, however, has been little studied. A group of researchers in Italy, led by Giovanni Strippoli, MD, PhD, MPH, MM (epi), decided to change that.
The study included 4,320 patients on hemodialysis who received oral examinations and were questioned regarding their oral health practices. The researchers found an independent association between poor oral health and mortality. In other words, survival rates for patients on hemodialysis who had good oral health were higher than for those with poor oral health. Results showed that twice daily toothbrushing, flossing, and replacing toothbrushes every 3 months led to improved systemic health for study participants. The authors suggest that while these results need to be supported with additional research, patients undergoing hemodialysis should be strongly encouraged by their interprofessional health care teams to improve their oral hygiene and receive regular professional dental care.
Strippoli presented the study data on June 1, 2014, at the 51st Congress of the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association in Amsterdam.
From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. August 2014;12(8):14.