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Keep Your Mouth Healthy during Cancer Treatment

Posted on 2/27/2016 by Boeckel
An elderly woman receiving her oral evaluation for oral cancer.Going through treatment for cancer is an extremely difficult experience, both physically and emotionally. You have a lot of things to worry about, including how to keep your mouth healthy. Cancer therapies can cause a variety of oral complications that could compromise tooth and gum health, so it is important that you continue to follow-up with your dentist.

Oral Health Problems during Cancer Therapy

Cancer treatments like radiation, bone marrow transplants, and chemotherapy can cause a variety of oral complications, as in addition to killing cancer cells, these therapies can also damage normal cells. Some of the most common complications include:

•  Dry mouth
•  Inflammation of mouth ulcers and gums
•  Delayed healing
•  Tooth enamel erosion
•  Jaw stiffness
•  Loss of taste

Oral Evaluations When Beginning Cancer Treatment

Many dentists recommend that when you begin your cancer treatment that you get an oral evaluation by a dentist. These appointments can help to identify and correct problems in the mouth that could interfere with or intensify during cancer treatment.

In addition to this pretreatment care, this appointment can give your dentist the chance to recommend a good oral hygiene routine that will keep your mouth healthy throughout your treatment.

Caring for Your Mouth

Two of the main problems that you could face regarding your oral health during cancer treatment are dry mouth and vomiting. It is important to keep your mouth moist in order to wash away bacteria and reduce your susceptibility to infection.

You'll also want to protect your enamel, especially if you are vomiting frequently, and your dentist may help with this by prescribing fluoride trays. Anti-nausea medications could also be extremely beneficial for both your oral health and your overall quality of life.

Do you have questions about how to better care for your mouth now that you are going through cancer treatments? Contact our office today.









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(503) 985-8945
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Lisa Gitelson, DMD and David Wilson, DMD, 14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR, 97224-3790 - Associated Words: dentist Tigard Oregon, Family Dentistry Tigard Oregon, Preventative Dentistry Tigard Oregon, (503) 985-8945, www.dentisttigard.com, 9/22/2017