Critical Role Of Oral Health In Organ Transplant Patients

The invention and success of organ transplant procedures have utterly changed the face of medical science. However, the condition is not without its risks and complications. One of those complications is the requirement for ongoing immunosuppressive therapy to ensure your body doesn’t reject the newly transplanted organ. These therapies affect more than just the organ itself; they impact the entire body. As a result, our oral health can contribute to complications and become a victim of the therapies themselves. The Birch Point Dental Clinic team is committed to proper oral health care for all our patients, especially those affected by medical complications such as transplants.

The Critical Role Of Oral Health In Organ Transplant Patients

At present, there are no guidelines regarding oral health affecting a patient’s eligibility for an organ transplant. However, ongoing studies indicate that poor oral health can put patients at a heightened risk of complications following their transplant. Tooth decay and gum disease that go untreated can trigger the body’s immune system, resulting in elevated levels of inflammation and a higher risk of heart disease. As a result, proper and consistent dental hygiene is critical to ensuring that patients both have successful transplant procedures. Further, it’s essential to maintain good health through the years of living with the transplanted organ.

Birch Point Dental Clinic provides a comprehensive treatment approach to dental care and can be your partner in preserving your overall health following a transplant procedure. The following steps are involved in maintaining good oral health with the assistance of a qualified dental team:

  • Professional Cleanings – Receiving regular cleanings from a dental professional can go a long way toward protecting yourself from tooth decay and gum disease. While they will not prevent them independently, it’s particularly effective when combined with regular oral hygiene care.
  • Restoration Dentistry – When dental decay has damaged your smile, restoration dentistry can often ensure you aren’t at greater risk of developing future decay or infections. Crowns, fillings, veneers, and other treatments can minimize your risk of future oral health complications.
  • Proper Oral Hygiene – Consistently brushing your teeth and flossing can protect you from developing gum disease and tooth decay. It eliminates the presence of food debris, removes plaque before it can become tartar, and deprives bacteria of food in the form of residual sugars.
  • Antibacterial Mouthwash – Using antibacterial mouthwash is important in protecting your oral health. While many consider it optional, those living with a transplanted organ will benefit from taking all available precautions.

These tips can serve as the baseline for an effective oral health routine that can go a long way toward preventing complications following an organ transplant. Endocarditis, a heart valve infection, is one form of complication connected to untreated oral health concerns. This type of infection is rare but can result from oral concerns.

Contact Birch Point Dental Clinic For Support

If you’re on the road to an organ transplant, it’s time to contact our team for a consultation. You can call us at (807) 698-8838 or visit our clinic in Thunder Bay, ON P7B 3B7, Canada. 


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Dr. Sanket Upadhyay


Dr. Sanket completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree in India in 2011 and obtained his Canadian dental license in 2016. He is a member in good standing with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, the Ontario Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Sanket regularly pursues continuing education through dental conferences and courses to enhance his knowledge and be at the forefront of advances in dentistry.

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