Cystic Fibrosis and Dental Health

Oral manifestations infographic

Cystic Fibrosis and Increased Risk for Cavities:

Cystic Fibrosis is a lethal genetic disease in Caucasians with 1000 patients being diagnosed with CF in the U.S. each year. This condition affects dental health dramatically. The disease is caused by an autosomal recessive mutation to the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regularly (CFTR) gene. This gene defect disrupts sodium and chloride ion movement across cell membranes. CF affect the sinuses, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract as well as the pancreas. So what does this mean for the CF patient’s teeth and gums? Usually CF patients are on multiple rounds of antibiotics which change the natural flora of the oral cavity and make them more susceptible to more cavities. In addition the prevalence of enamel defects (the protective outer layer of the tooth) ranges from 30-50%. In the 1950’s the survival rate did not extend beyond elementary school but currently many CF patients live into their 50’s and 60’s making caries prevention a bigger part of their treatment plan. Due to the gastrointestinal complications present in CF individuals 55%-75% are diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease which causes stomach acid to enter the oral cavity which can erode the dentition. With increased erosion their is decreased minerals in the teeth and this predisposes the patient to caries (cavities). Normally saliva helps protect the teeth by buffering against dietary sugars and acid in the mouth but in CF individuals the salivary gland can hypertrophy and it is believed the secretion of bicarbonate may be disrupted. Nutritionists also recommend an increase in caloric consumption as well and if the patient is eating more refined carbohydrates to meet the caloric requirement this can increase the risk for cavities even more. With all this being said here are some natural ways to protect the teeth in CF patients-
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Neutral Plant Based Diet
Daily Probiotics
Warm Salt Water Rinses with Pink Hymalian Salts
Xylitol containing toothpastes and gums
Mineral Broth Consumption (Vegan or Bone Broth)
consumption of foods with Omega 3,6,9 fatty acids
chines herbs that decrease streptococcus bacteria
Regular dental cleanings and treatment of caries