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Oral Side Effects Associated With Cancer Treatment

It is known, that approximately one-third of people who undergo treatment for cancer will develop some type of oral complications, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health. These complications can range from mild gingivitis (gum disease) to severe oral infections, and they can interfere with cancer treatment and with the patient’s overall quality of life.

Ideally, schedule any invasive dental procedures, such as a root canal therapy, before you start chemotherapy because an untreated dental infection could become more severe as a side effect of the cancer drugs.

Everyone responds differently to chemotherapy, and you may have some oral side effects for only a short time or for the duration of your treatment.It's a good idea that once you begin chemotherapy, check your mouth each day for sores or other problems.

Be sure to keep your oncologist and your dentist informed about any changes in your oral health, and make sure that your dentist and oncologist communicate to co-ordinate your care if any dental problems arise during chemotherapy.

Some oral side effects associated with chemotherapy include:

  • Dry mouth

  • Painful mouth and gums

  • Oral infection

  • Changes in taste

  • Burning or swelling of the tongue

These side effects can be relieved by following a consistent oral care routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing. In addition, an at-home fluoride treatment can help prevent cavities and is often recommended for radiation therapy patients.

At Balgownie Dental, we are able to offer professional advice and treatment to help reduce the effects associated with cancer treatments.

Contact us today Phone: (02) 4285 3855 or via our Contact Us page

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