Sickle cell anaemia is a condition where there are no enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body. The condition makes an individual to be prone to a lot of infections. The main effect though is anaemia, which is due to the low blood count levels. In severe cases, a patient would need blood transfusion to stabilize.
Because of this, sickle cell patients have to constantly observe their diet, increasing their iron intake, which stimulates the production of blood. They are also on constant medication to treat or prevent infections, which in turn leaves their immunity weak.
With a weak immune system, these patients are more exposed to dental infections as compared to healthy individuals. They have to be more cautious with their dental hygiene because once they get an infection; the healing process can be very strenuous.
Dental Infections among Sickle Cell Anaemic Patients
A weak immune system means any small infection in the mouth is bound to become worse for such a patient. The presence of bacteria in the mouth causes decay, and in such a situation, the decay progresses really fast because the body doesn’t naturally fight off the infections.
This is the cracking of teeth. Most sickle cell patients are weak and this also means that their teeth are weak. Due to this, their dental enamel can be very brittle because of lack of the right nutrients. They end up getting cracks especially if they are not getting enough nutrients and on medication.
Because most patients are recommended to take a lot of vitamin C, which is mostly found in citrus fruits, the chances of dental erosion in sickle cell patients are very high. This is caused by acidity that comes from the food they eat, and sometimes acid reflux from the stomach. A patient is required to rinse their mouth every time they have anything citrus, so they can protect their teeth.
With frequent formation of plaque on the teeth, one is likely to get a lot of infections. This is experienced a lot in sickle cell anaemic patients because most of them would feel pain even brushing their teeth. They have to be very intentional about it more than healthy individuals. In case of oral infections, seek the services of a top “dentist Brooklyn” to handle the situation.
Prevention of Dental Infections in Anaemic Patients
As much as it is a chronic disease, sickle cell anaemia can be managed and the patient can lead a comfortable life. They would have to do more than what is considered normal, but this always has positive results:
- Vitamin C: The patience has to make vitamin C as essential part of their diet. This can be got from citrus fruits, tomatoes and even supplements recommended by the doctor. Vitamin C boosts the supply of blood in the body and this strengthens their immunity. A strong immune system means better oral health.
- Daily brushing and flossing: Because of the vitamin c intake, this has to be a mandatory routine. Brushing and flossing will get rid of any plaque and food particles in the mouth so there will be no breeding ground for bad bacteria. They need to brush morning and evening, using a fluoride toothpaste, to keep their teeth healthy.
- Frequent dental check-ups: Sickle cell anaemia is a condition that has to be closely monitored by a specialist, and while at it, one needs to get frequent dental check-ups. This helps the doctor to identify infections early enough. Getting a wound (like bleeding gums) for an anaemic patient can seem small but is very fatal.
- Healthy diet: Having the right diet is very important for an anaemic person, as it helps with haemoglobin production. The patient needs to have a lot of leafy vegetables and fruits, which boosts blood HB levels. A healthy diet is a preventive measure, as it directly translates to healthy teeth and gums.
- Water: Sickle cell anaemic patients are advised to take a lot of water, which helps to flush out toxins from their blood. Apart from that, blood helps to rinse the mouth/teeth of any food remnants which cause cavities. Water intake should be made a habit, as it also helps with re-hydration and blood flow. A hydrated mouth is better than a dry mouth at keeping away infections.
As a sickle cell patient, you have to work more at preventing dental problems than curing, because the healing process is long and painful. Work closely with a qualified “dentist Brooklyn” to get an oral health routine that will keep you safe from infections.