Patients receiving cancer therapy often have changes in the mouth. We can help you understand the possible side effects of cancer treatment on your mouth and how you can care for them.
If you or a loved one have cancer and are undergoing cancer treatment, you may have questions concerning oral health. Patients receiving cancer therapy often have changes in the mouth. At The Dental Anesthesia Center, we can help you understand the possible side effects of cancer treatment on your mouth and how you can care for them.
We help patients with complex medical needs get the dental care they need. We value our patient relationships, making it our priority to deliver the gentle dental care you need. We work hard to make you feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.
Oral Issues for Cancer Patients
If you are receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatments, you may develop specific issues with your mouth. With chemotherapy, both cancer cells and normal cells within the lining of the mouth divide rapidly. This can increase your risk of infection and bleeding. If you have a pre-existing dental infection, such as a cavity, abscess, or gum disease, the issue may get worse.
Chemotherapy can also cause mouth sores. They typically heal on their own with a couple of weeks. However, more severe ulcers may become infected. Some medications can prevent these sores and help ease the discomfort.
Patients receiving radiation treatment to the head or neck can also experience these mouth sores. However, radiation therapy can have long-term oral side effects; one of the most common is dry mouth. This occurs when radiation hits the salivary glands and stops them from producing enough saliva to protect the mouth.
Dental Care for Cancer Patients
If you have a pre-existing oral health issue, see your dentist as soon as possible to identify the source and receive treatment. If it’s possible to see your dentist before your cancer treatment begins, do so. This may prevent a minor issue from turning into a significant problem. However, we understand that your priorities shift when dealing with cancer, and that’s why we’re here to help.
One of the best things you can do for your oral health is brush your teeth three times a day, use fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and eat a nutritionally balanced diet. This preventative care is just that; it can prevent issues from arising. Maintaining your oral health routine as best as possible will help deter infection and tooth decay. If you notice any problems, contact our office to schedule your appointment.
Making Your Appointment
Your dentist must know your complete health history at your dental appointment, including any cancer therapy you are undergoing. The medical history should also include any problems with your kidneys or liver. This will let the dentist understand how you might metabolize certain medications.
When it comes to working with patients who have complex medical histories in St. Louis, MO, our team at the Dental Anesthesia Center is top-notch. Having a complex medical history is no excuse to avoid prioritizing your oral health. Make sure to contact us to speak to you further about any concerns you might have. We look forward to meeting you!
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The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologists in the State of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.