Oral symptoms and oral health-related quality of life in patients with chronic kidney disease from predialysis to posttransplantation

Hellevi Ruokonen, Karita Nylund, Jukka H. Meurman, Anna M. Heikkinen, Jussi Furuholm, Timo Sorsa, Risto Roine, Fernanda Ortiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: This prospective follow-up cohort study analyzed chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients' oral symptoms, health habits, and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL), from predialysis to posttransplantation. A simplified questionnaire method (Oral Health Quality Score, OHQS), based on these and clinical findings, was constructed and tested for identifying patients in need for referral to a dentist.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fifty-three CKD patients were followed up for a mean of 10.3 years. Clinical oral, radiological, and salivary examination was performed at baseline and posttransplantation. Total Dental Index (TDI) indicating inflammation was calculated. The patients filled out a questionnaire on symptoms, oral hygiene and health care habits, smoking, alcohol use, and medication. General health-related quality of life was assessed with the 15-dimensional (15D) instrument at posttransplantation. Descriptive and analytical methods were used in statistics.

RESULTS: OHQS significantly correlated with high TDI (p = 0.017), number of teeth (p = 0.031), and unstimulated salivary flow rate (p = 0.001) in transplanted patients. Number of daily medications showed a negative correlation with the OHQS (r = - 0.30; p = 0.028). The prevalence of oral symptoms was slightly, but not significantly, more common posttransplantation compared with predialysis stage.

CONCLUSION: OHQS identified patients with high oral inflammatory score thus confirming our study hypothesis.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Use of OHQS and measuring salivary flow indicate patients at risk for oral diseases. These markers might be easy to use chair-side also by auxiliary personnel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2207-2213
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Health
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/complications
  • Young Adult


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