People with kidney disease are at high risk for periodontal disease. The high-sugar content in kidney dialysis solution makes the mouth very acidic, which favors the growth of bacteria. Also, people who need dialysis treatment are more likely to have poor oral hygiene.
Kidney stones are formed when too much salt is excreted in the urine, which builds up in the kidneys. Because people with periodontitis tend to excrete too much sodium, the theory goes, they are more likely to develop kidney stones. But the evidence for this connection is mixed.
Some studies find no link between the two; others show that people with periodontitis may have a higher risk of developing stones. One study even found that people with kidney stones were more likely to have periodontitis.
Although kidney disease is rarely associated with periodontitis, a person who has chronic kidney disease should pay attention to his or her oral health. As you age, your kidneys become less able to filter waste and regulate blood pressure. If these functions are impaired, you have an increased risk for developing gum disease.
“When your kidneys aren’t functioning properly, they don’t produce enough erythropoietin, which stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells,” explains Dr Zainab. That means your blood gets too thin and you can develop anemia. And anemia makes it easier for bacteria to infect your gums.