Organ Transplant

Why Transplant Patients Should Prioritize Their Oral Health 

Receiving an organ transplant can be an exciting and terrifying concept, and successful surgery is critical for those who need an organ transplant. Due to advancements in surgical techniques and immunosuppressive therapies, transplant surgeries have achieved higher success rates. However, it’s important to recognize the importance of dental care for transplant patients, as research has shown that oral diseases are highly prevalent among transplant recipients, affecting approximately 50 percent of people overall. While this aspect of care is often overlooked, oral disease can pose risks to a person’s transplant surgery in many ways. In this article, we’re here to highlight the importance of prioritizing oral health for transplant patients and provide some ways to ensure better dental and overall health for everyone. 

Why Transplant Patients Should Prioritize Their Oral Health 

While there are no standardized practices for dental evaluations before scheduled transplant surgeries, numerous studies have shown the positive impact of addressing dental health issues prior to a transplant. Addressing problems such as tooth decay and gum disease before a transplant can significantly increase the overall success rate of your procedure. Untreated dental and gum diseases have been associated with poor transplant outcomes, as the bacteria can trigger unwarranted immune system responses and increase inflammatory reactions. 

Dental hygiene plays a vital role for transplant patients, and if you are seeking ways to minimize the risks associated with upcoming transplantation, we highly recommend the following tips to help care for your health before your scheduled transplant surgery: 

  • Receive Cleanings and Checkups: It’s essential to receive dental cleanings and oral exams twice a year to maintain your oral health, and make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist at least six months prior to your surgery to ensure good oral health. 
  • Get Restorative Treatments: If your dentist notices dental problems such as gum disease or tooth decay then it’s highly recommended that you receive restorations prior to your transplant surgery to ensure good oral health. 
  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day can provide a good preventative measure against foreign bacteria and diseases before your scheduled transplant surgery. 
  • Use Antibacterial Mouthwash: Additionally, using antibacterial mouthwash can provide you with extra support in keeping your mouth clean and free from bacteria that could harm your surgery outcome. 

Following these tips can help you maintain a more positive outlook for your surgery. It’s important to keep your mouth healthy and clean as bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease can increase the risk of a rare complication called endocarditis or an infection of the heart valve after an organ transplant. 

Receive Comprehensive Care at St. Clair Dental PLLC Today 

Keeping up with your oral health is vital for those who face chronic diseases, and addressing your oral health before your surgery can be used to minimize any complications related to immunosuppressive therapies and other recovery methods. If you wish to learn more about how St. Clair Dental PLLC can help, schedule an appointment with Dr. Maureen Karl and visit our clinic in Granbury, TX, by calling (817) 910-2880

Maureen Karl, DDS, FAGD
As a graduate of the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 2004, Dr. Maureen Karl continues to hone her craft through continuing education. Dental patients throughout the Granbury, TX area know they can rely on our practice for skilled dental care using the latest practices.