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About cancer treatment and oral health
27 Nov. 2019

About cancer treatment and oral health

Cancer is a disease that appears when uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in the body occurs.Your mouth health is an important part of your general health. A lot of cancer patients develop complications that affect the mouth (mouth sores, infection, dry mouth, sensitive and bleeding gums, jaw pain).

Mouth sores are ulcers that form in the soft tissue in and around your mouth including your tongue, gums or lips. They can be cause by chemotherapy or radiation.
Jaw and facial pain is a common side effect, especially if you have radiation therapy near your head or neck. Jaw and facial pain may include pain in or around the ear, tenderness of the jaw, pain when biting or headaches.

Patients undergoing head and neck cancer treatment may experience a heavy metallic taste. Eating with plastic utensils helps. Avoiding acidic foods also may help.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can weaken your immune system. Radiation therapy, especially in the area of the head and neck, can affect salivary glands which can decrease the level of saliva in your mouth, causing dry mouth. Our dentist may give you an artificial saliva to help make you more comfortable and protect your teeth. A dry mouth may also make it difficult to wear dentures. Your dentist may recommend you to use an adhesive to help your dentures stay in place.

Maintaining your mouth health before, during and after cancer treatment could help you deal better with the side effects of cancer treatment.

It is recommended to consult your dentist before begin any kind of treatment so that they can perform a dental examination and complete any necessary treatment for your oral health problems (in case you have some). Because the environment of the mouth changes during cancer treatment, an increased risk of dental cavities is possible in people who have neglected their teeth. Some oral health problems can interfere with a patient’s ability to begin the cancer treatment.

Dental health is very important during cancer treatment.Patient diagnosed with cancer should brush their teeth, floss, scrape the tongue, drink plenty of water, eat a healthy, balanced diet, rich in minerals and vitamins and low in carbohydrates and sugars.

Once cancer treatment is complete, it is important to continue to maintain a proper oral health. High-dose radiation can result in a lifelong risk of dry mouth and dental cavities. This is why it is very important to stay hydrated.

As a conclusion, if you have cancer, do not forget to consult your dentist. You must be sure that you begin your cancer treatment with a good oral health. Do not forget to brush twice  a day and floss. Call today Dr. Arhiri to make an appointment.