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Organ and Stem Cell Transplantation and Oral Health

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How Does Transplantation Affect Oral Health?

Organ and stem cell transplant patients are at increased risk for serious oral health problems. A weakened medical condition and the side effects of transplant medications can lead to infections, dry mouth, ulcers, gum overgrowth, and other oral complications that can also affect overall health.


Dental management of transplant patients is challenging but vital to help prevent systemic infection and treat the troublesome side effects of medications that suppress the immune system. Problems such as excessive bleeding, co-existing disorders like diabetes and hypertension, and the complexities of treating a seriously ill patient must be factored into any dental treatment plan. Regular communication between the dentist and the patient’s transplant team is essential.

It is also important for patients to understand how transplantation can affect the mouth and the vital role they play in keeping the mouth healthy.

Conscientious daily oral hygiene at home, combined with regular visits to the dentist, can help prevent or minimize oral health problems.

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This page last updated: October 23, 2014