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Swed Dent J. 2009;33(3):97-103.

Oral infections and their influence on medical rehabilitation in kidney transplant patients.

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Department of Clinical Dentistry, Center for Clinical Dental Research, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.


Infections seem to be the most common life-threatening complication of long-term immunosuppressive therapy following organ transplantation. Although sparse scientific evidence, potential oral infections are considered to contribute to these complications. The aim of this study was to examine whether there is an association between oral infections and rejections after kidney transplantation. A group of 46 kidney transplant candidates was enrolled. The patients were examined clinically and radiographically for dental caries, periodontal disease, mucosal lesions/infections, and general oral health problems. Examinations were conducted the day before transplantation, and one year post transplantation. Fifteen (32.6%) patients developed acute rejections during the first year. Six of these patients (40%) presented with oral opportunistic infections (candida or herpes infections of the oral mucosa). The number of dental infections and semi-impacted teeth were low. When rejections were related to probing pocket depths (PPDs) > or = 4 mm and apical lesions together, statistical significance was not reached (p=0.075, OR=3.17 [0.87; 11.55]). Similar results were obtained when PPDs > or = 4 mm, apical lesions, semi-impacted teeth, and opportunistic mucosal infections were compared to rejections. The results of the present study do not support that opportunistic oral mucosal infections or dental-related infections seem to increase the risk of rejection in kidney transplanted patients.

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