Cancer Treatments And How It Impacts Your Dental Health

The last thing you need to worry about during cancer treatment is your teeth, which is why it is integral to pay attention to oral health care during treatment. Cancer treatments can impact your teeth and gums, so watch for signs of an issue that may perpetuate into complications during your fight to get well. Be sure to make an appointment with your dental provider prior to starting cancer treatment to evaluate your mouth and check for any potential sites of infection or trauma to your mouth.

Cancer treatment and your teeth

To maintain a continuum of care, be sure to see your dental providers during cancer treatments and sign consents for practitioners to share information surrounding your care. This will help your doctors identify any potential issues before it perpetuates into a health problem.

Concerns surrounding radiation and dental health

Since radiation treatments can put you at a higher risk for cavities, it is important to see your dentist regularly during this protocol. The radiation can impact how much saliva you produce, which can lead to dry-mouth and related gum disease, which may complicate cancer treatments. Furthermore, if you wear dentures or a partial plate, you may find these to be ill-fitting after radiation therapy.

Eating during cancer treatments

Opt for foods that won't irritate tender mouth and gums during treatments. Work on exercising your jaw and mouth during cancer care, as radiation near your face can impact how you chew your food. Pay attention to any sores or tender spots that occur in your mouth, and report these to your dental provider to avoid possible infection.

Chemotherapy and oral health care

During your course of chemotherapy, make sure that you gauge your temperature and report any fever to your doctor; this could be a sign of an oral infection which can cause complications during chemotherapy. Let your dentist know when you are involved in chemo treatments and ask for bloodwork accordingly. Bloodwork prior to any procedures will evaluate your blood which can help avoid potential hemorrhage or infection during your dental procedure.  

Even if you have completed your cancer treatment, have your dental provider review your bloodwork before you have any dental work or cleanings done. This will help establish a continuum of care among your providers that is more apt to catch any signs of a problem, issue, or infection that might otherwise be overlooked. Oral care should be taken seriously to avoid potential risks, especially before, during, and after your cancer treatment regimen.

For more information, talk to a professional like Arrowhead Family Dentistry S. M. Bhatt DDS Inc.