Objective: Oral health problems of chronic renal failure patients can compromise systemic health. This study compared the periodontal and dental health status of patients on hemodialysis (HD) with healthy controls (C).
Study design: Seventy-six HD patients and 61 controls were examined for plaque deposits, gingivitis, periodontitis, calculus accumulation and oral health status.
Results: There was no statistically significant difference in the measurement of probing pocket depths (PPD) in HD and C groups, but a highly significant difference was found for plaque index (P < 0.001), gingival index (GI) (P = 0.007) and calculus surface index (P < 0.001). There was a highly significant difference for GI (P = 0.001) and PPD scores (P < 0.001) between subgroups receiving HD for <3 years or more. A positive correlation between time on dialysis and parameter of missing teeth (r = 0.259; P = 0.024), GI scores (r = 0.474; P < 0.001) and measurement of PPD (r = 0.481; P < 0.001) was found in the HD group. Decayed, missing and filled teeth index scores were higher in the controls than the HD group, with no statistical significance.
Conclusions: The dental and periodontal health status of HD patients is comparable with healthy controls, but becomes worse with time on dialysis. Thus, oral health maintenance is of utmost importance in this patient group.