Expert emphasizes importance of oral hygiene for transplant patients.

Professor Jukka Meurman, an expert in oral infectious diseases, recently emphasized the significance of oral health in maintaining overall health, particularly for kidney and liver transplant patients. Professor Meurman, who is currently serving as the Head Physician at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases at Helsinki University Hospital, Finland, highlighted the potential harm caused by oral cavity bacteria on organ transplant patients. Individuals with kidney and liver diseases, especially those on immunosuppressive medication, are more susceptible to oral infections, as inflamed gums can serve as an entry point for harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. Recent research suggests that maintaining strong oral hygiene is crucial for managing kidney and liver diseases, especially for transplant patients, as poor oral health can compromise immunity and increase vulnerability to inflammation.

Furthermore, Professor Meurman noted that dental infections may increase the risk of cancer, and bacteraemia, a bacterial infection in the bloodstream, poses a significant concern for individuals with chronic conditions. Dental procedures can trigger bacteraemia and increase the risk of bacterial endocarditis, particularly in those prone to heart disease. Given the ongoing susceptibility to infections for transplant patients, Professor Meurman stressed the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene before undergoing transplantation surgery. Tailored treatment approaches should consider the patient’s commitment to sustaining oral health, and efforts can be made to preserve and restore teeth in certain situations, mitigating the need for extractions. Ultimately, the goal is to maintain oral health through routine oral hygiene practices and address problems before they worsen.

In a positive development, Finnish researchers have introduced an antibacterial oral health-enhancing device called Lumoral. Utilizing antibacterial photodynamic therapy, Lumoral targets bacteria linked to tooth decay and gingivitis. Endorsed by the Finnish Association of Oral Hygienists, Lumoral serves as a complementary tool for conventional oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing. Maintaining optimal oral health is crucial for patients’ quality of life, as dental issues can cause pain, discomfort, and stress, impacting overall well-being and the efficacy of treatments for underlying diseases. Regular dental check-ups and oral hygiene practices are essential, especially for individuals using immunosuppressive drugs, which can compromise the immune system’s ability to combat oral bacteria.

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