Poor oral hygiene enhances gingival overgrowth caused by calcineurin inhibitors

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To estimate the prevalence of gingival overgrowth in kidney allograft recipients in southern Switzerland and to determine the factors associated with it. We hypothesized that poor oral hygiene was a risk factor.


We assessed the level of oral hygiene among renal transplant patients and determined whether a good level of information and regular dental checkups in addition to good oral hygiene could prevent gingival hyperplasia. Seventy-six adults who had undergone kidney transplantation were examined. The level of oral hygiene, gender, age, time elapsed from transplantation, medication and dose were recorded.


In general the level of oral hygiene was average. We found a significant association between the severity of gingival overgrowth and the level of oral hygiene. No statistical relationship between gingival hyperplasia and the other recorded variables was detected. Patients on tacrolimus had a tendency to have less gingival hyperplasia. Patient education, along with regular dental checkups and a good level of oral hygiene, should prevent gingival hyperplasia or maintain it at an acceptable level.


Intensive motivation of patients to maintain good oral hygiene is necessary to reduce the incidence of gingival hyperplasia.

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