People suffering from renal failure, also known as kidney failure, can develop complications throughout their bodies, including inside their mouths. You may be at risk of uremic stomatitis, a painful, ulcerative oral condition. Here are four things you need to know about uremic stomatitis.
What are the symptoms of uremic stomatitis?
If you have uremic stomatitis, you will notice that you have ulcers on your oral tissues. Any of your oral soft tissues can be affected, including your tongue. These ulcers are typically shallow, irregularly shaped and can be small or large. These ulcers are painful and may bleed. In addition to these ulcers, you may notice white buildup on your tongue that looks like milk curd. These curds can be scraped off, but the area underneath will be erythematous (red). If you notice these signs, visit a dental practice, such as the Dental Services Franklin Dental Centre, immediately.
How does renal failure cause it?
Uremic stomatitis is a rare condition, so it is not very well understood. Researchers think that it may be caused by long-term uremia. Uremia is a condition that occurs when your kidneys are not functioning properly; it refers to an excess of urea (one of the main compounds in urine) in the blood. This excess urea then burns your oral tissues. More studies will need to be done to confirm the role that uremia plays in the development of uremic stomatitis.
What are the oral complications?
Obviously, uremic stomatitis is a very serious condition. It's a sign that your kidneys are failing and that you need either dialysis or a kidney transplant, but it also poses problems for your oral health. Since the ulcers are painful, they may leave you unable to brush or floss your teeth as often as you would like to, which allows plaque to accumulate. This plaque can lead to numerous dental problems, like cavities or infected gums. Tooth loss can also occur. It's important to get treatment to manage the lesions so that you can continue to keep your mouth clean and avoid these complications.
How can your dentist help?
Your dentist can't treat your kidneys (that's a job for your doctor), but they can help ease your oral symptoms in the meantime. Your dentist may recommend rinsing your mouth with diluted hydrogen peroxide or another mildly acidic rinse to neutralize the pH inside your mouth. Your dentist can also give you an anesthetic cream or rinse to numb the lesions and make them more tolerable.
If you have kidney failure and are suffering from painful mouth sores, see your dentist for help managing the condition.