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Pediatr Nephrol. 2005 Oct;20(10):1388-94. Epub 2005 Jun 10.

Oro-dental health in children with chronic renal failure and after renal transplantation: a clinical review.

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Unit of Paediatric Dentistry, Division of Microbial Diseases, Eastman Dental Institute For Oral Health Care Sciences, University College London, 256 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8LD, UK.


As a consequence of chronic renal failure (CRF) and its treatment, a number of oro-dental changes occur that persist after the end-stage is reached. An early effect is enamel hypoplasia due to a defect of enamel development and mineralisation. This is usually reparable to a high aesthetic standard using dental composite filling material. Children with CRF have significantly less dental caries than healthy children due to the inhibitory effect of increased salivary urea levels. Grafted patients frequently develop gingival enlargement as a result of immunosuppression with cyclosporine A, which is further exacerbated by the additional use of antihypertensive calcium-blocking agents. Surgical reduction of gingival hyperplasia is effective and is required in approximately one third of adolescents. A very high standard of home care should be encouraged for all children with CRF in the form of thorough mechanical tooth cleaning and plaque inhibition through the use of an antibacterial mouthwash. In transplanted children presenting an increased risk of infection, antibiotic prophylaxis may be indicated for dental treatment procedures. The drug dosage should be adapted to the reduced renal function. Pediatric nephrologists should be aware that dental surgeons can make a considerable contribution to the general health and well-being of children with CRF. Thus, only oro-dental problems that are mainly encountered and treated by dental surgeons are reviewed.

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