How Does Dental Health Affect Your Kidneys?

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How Dental Health Affects Your Kidneys

Your body is a complex system, and each part plays a specific role in keeping you healthy. Your kidneys, in particular, are responsible for keeping your body free of infection. However, too much bacteria build-up can make them fail at their job, allowing diseases to form.

According to dentists such as Dr. Brian Klym in Traverse City, MI, these diseases are often detected in your mouth first, before they’re found in other parts of the body.

How Kidneys Benefit the Body

The kidneys are two of the most important organs in your body. They have multiple jobs to carry out on a daily basis. Their main purpose is to remove bacteria and toxins from your body. They do this by regulating your urine and acid levels. When you drink water, your kidneys determine how much water is needed to remain within your body, and how much can be disposed of.

These organs also play an important role in making sure your blood is healthy. Your kidneys manage your blood pressure and produce proteins when their level drops too low. They also ensure that your blood is getting enough oxygen and flowing at a steady rate.

Three sets of hands holding a red heart with kidneys inside

Dental Issues that Can Harm Your Kidneys

Bacteria is on practically everything around us, including the food we eat. When bacteria enters your mouth, it can cause oral diseases and even spread to the rest of your body. There have been many studies that demonstrate how the following dental issues can cause kidney damage:

Gum disease — this occurs when bacteria severely infect your gums
Tooth loss — this exposes your gums to bacteria and leaves them more vulnerable to disease
Cavities — while decayed teeth don’t always turn into gum disease or tooth loss, the bacteria can travel to your kidneys

If you’re experiencing any decay or infection in your mouth, it’s crucial to contact your local dentist immediately to have your dental health evaluated.

The Negative Effects of Kidney Damage

If the oral issues listed above aren’t eliminated, they can lead to serious kidney damage. While you may not notice your kidneys being affected at first, the bacteria build-up can potentially be life-threatening if not treated.

Issues such as gum disease can cause your kidneys to slow down and even stop working if the disease isn’t treated. When your kidneys begin to fail, toxins will remain in your body, causing you to become ill.

Health Issues Related to Kidney Disease

Not only can oral issues trigger kidney disease, but the opposite can occur as well. People with kidney problems are more likely to develop tooth decay and gum disease.

In addition to affecting your dental health, kidney damage can also result in the following:

  • Dry, irritated skin
  • Swollen limbs or face
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent or discolored Urination
  • Muscle spasms

Dentists such as Dr. Mark Katz in Greensboro, NC also suggest that kidney problems can lead to sleep problems such as sleep apnea. You should talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above. Kidney disease is dangerous, but it can be treated.

Preventing Oral Diseases

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is the best way to prevent dental problems and potential kidney disease. While other factors can lead to kidney disease as well, eliminating the bacteria in your mouth will significantly decrease your chances of developing it.

Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

Implementing a consistent dental hygiene routine into your life is the first step to achieving a healthy mouth and body. Experienced dentists such as Dr. Peter Silberstein in Boynton Beach, FL recommend brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. While it’s not a mandatory step, rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash every day will help remove the bacteria that may be lingering behind.

Scheduling bi-annual appointments with your dentist is beneficial because they can examine your teeth and professionally eliminate bacteria thorough cleanings and other dental treatments.

Eating a Healthier Diet

While it’s impossible to completely avoid all bacteria, limiting the amount that enters your body is helpful. Food and drinks that are high in sugar make your teeth develop more plaque, putting you at a higher risk for disease.

Choosing to consume items that are lower in sugar will be beneficial to your body in the long run. For example, reaching for flavored sparkling water or even tea is a better alternative to drinking soda. Eating more vegetables and protein-rich food will save you from the candy and highly processed food that can cause plaque to build upon your teeth.

A man and woman with their arms around each other and smiling

Protecting Your Kidneys

Aside from taking extra good care of your teeth and gums, there are other preventative measures you can take to avoid developing kidney disease. People who have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoke frequently are at a high risk of getting the disease.

To reduce your risk, doctors suggest that you receive annual physicals and health exams. This is a great way to monitor your health and catch health problems early on before they affect your kidneys.

Living a healthy lifestyle by exercising, eating foods that are low in sugar, and drinking plenty of water can also prolong the health of your organs. If you’re looking for more ways to remain healthy and live a longer, happier life, get in touch with your physician.