Caring for Your Oral Health While on Cancer Treatment

Effects of Chemotherapy and Oral Care

Did you know that one-third of patients who are under treatment for cancer may experience some type of oral complications? Hence not all such patients will have oral issues; but there is no reason to be remiss in dental care. For those who may experience the side effects of cancer treatment, it is good to know what to expect and how to manage them.

Oral complications as a result of chemotherapy can range from mild gingivitis to severe oral infections. They can interfere with cancer treatment and impact the patient’s quality of life. Nonetheless, cancer patients must not neglect their dental health.

For example, before commencing with chemotherapy, the patient must have made their dental appointments and be done with any important dental procedure, like a root canal or a treatment for periodontitis. Any infection can become more severe when cancer drugs are administered. Always check your mouth for sores or your gums for swelling as you go through your cancer treatment. Inform your oncologist if you experience changes in your oral status. Both your dentist and doctor can coordinate with one another in cases of oral health issues.

You might respond differently from others who are also under cancer treatment. Your oral issues are not all the same. Your side effects may last only for a short time or may last throughout treatment.

Anticancer drugs can promote a variety of oral side effects:

  • Dry mouth that can set the stage for tooth decay
  • Bleeding gums, because anticancer drugs can affect blood clotting
  • Painful mouth and gums
  • Oral infection or oral ulcers
  • Taste changes
  • Swelling or burning of the tongue

Your dentist will urge you to keep up with your oral hygiene care. It is essential that you still brush and floss, though more carefully; fluoride treatment can prevent cavity formation. Medicated mouth rinses can be helpful. All these should make you more comfortable during your chemotherapy.

Source 1, 2

Coordinating Cancer Treatment and Oral Care in Lynnwood

Inform your friendly Lynnwood dentist should you have to undergo chemotherapy. Rest assured that we are here to make your journey comfortable throughout by looking after your oral health.