Ways to Improve Your Oral Health During Cancer Treatment
Posted on 4/25/2020 by City Smiles DC
When you receive radiation therapy or chemotherapy, you may suffer from dry mouth, which can lead to the development of plaque, tartar, and dental caries. To prevent this from happening, it helps to drink at least eight glasses of water each day and follow a routine of healthy dental care. Brush your teeth in the morning and before you go to bed in the evening and floss each day with a string floss or dental irrigator. It also helps to use an antibacterial mouth rinse.
How Cancer Therapy Affects Your Oral Health
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, about 33% of cancer patients face complications with their oral health. Some of the conditions and symptoms include infection, dry mouth, sensitivity, jaw pain, and mouth sores. That is why we support the dental care of cancer patients. We believe we are a vital part of their cancer care. Because cancer and chemotherapy weaken the immune system, you become more susceptible to infection. Perhaps you are receiving radiation therapy. If so, this type of therapy can damage the salivary glands, which can trigger dry mouth. If saliva cannot be used to wash away excess food debris, your chances of tooth decay ad infection increase.
What You Can Do during Each Treatment Phase
Because cancer and cancer treatments can affect your dental health, you need to follow certain dental practice during each treatment phase. For example, before treatment, visit us and make sure you brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Do not use tobacco products and eat nutritious foods. During treatment, we will check for infection, jaw pain, and sensitive gums and periodontal disease. We will also make sure you are keeping properly hydrated and that mouth sores are treated before they become worse. During this period, it is also important to follow a recommended level of dental care. This same care should continue after you are done with your cancer therapy.
We can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy while you undergo cancer care. We will do everything we can to make sure that you receive the needed dental care while you are undergoing treatment. Give us a call now to set an appointment for a professional cleaning and examination.