If you are an organ transplant patient, you are at risk for mouth problems and organ transplant patients are urged to pay special attention to their oral health.
Your medical condition and side effects from your transplant medications can affect your oral health and complicate dental care. The National Institutes of Health offers these tips to help people stay well:
Have a dental checkup to make sure your mouth is as healthy as possible before your transplant procedure. Taking care of cavities, gum disease and any other mouth problems ahead of time can help prevent or reduce the side effects of transplant medicines.
Anti-rejection medications suppress your immune system and make it easier for you to develop mouth infections like gum disease or thrush, and other problems such as gum overgrowth, dry mouth, mouth ulcers or tumors. Your dentist can help you manage any side effects of transplant medicines that may occur.
Working With Doctors
It's important for your dentist and transplant doctor to speak with each other before dental treatment.
- Make sure your dentist knows that you are a transplant patient. Give your dentist the contact information for your transplant doctor.
- Bring a list of all your medications, including over-the-counter drugs, to every dental appointment. Tell your dentist if your medications have changed.
- Talk to your dentist about your general health. If you have diabetes or other health conditions, make sure your dentist knows. In the same way, talk to your transplant doctor about your oral health. Tell your doctor if you have mouth problems.
Take an active role in keeping your mouth healthy after your transplant procedure--check your mouth every day for any changes and brush and floss daily. If you have any questions about brushing and flossing, particularly if your mouth is sore, ask your dentist or dental hygienist.
To view or order a free fact sheet about organ transplantation and your mouth, visit https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OrderPublications.
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