When you're diagnosed with cancer and have to undergo chemotherapy, you probably already expect the nausea and fatigue and similar physical side effects. What you might not understand is how chemotherapy can affect your dental health. Before you start treatment, make a point to reach out to your dentist. He or she will do a full exam and help you understand what types of things you should watch for. Here are a few common dental issues you might experience during chemotherapy and some tips to help you manage them.
Chemotherapy can cause jawbone damage and gum bleeding. This happens due to the blood cell count disruption that the treatments cause. Lower blood cell counts can make the tissue inside your mouth more likely to bruise and bleed. In addition, you may also find that you're more vulnerable to tooth pain, gum irritation and other discomfort.
Chemotherapy can damage tooth enamel. While the chemotherapy itself doesn't directly damage tooth enamel, the vomiting that often comes with the treatment will erode your tooth enamel. This can gradually cause damage to the dentin in your teeth and may lead to increased risk of infection in your gums. In fact, it can also cause sores inside your mouth.
Ways to Minimize The Damage
While these things can be damaging, that doesn't mean that there's nothing you can do about it. Here are a few of the things that will help you mitigate the damage.
Regular dental visits minimize long-term damage. Your dentist may even want to see you more often while you complete your treatments. This is usually the best way to spot early signs of damage, which can allow you to address them quickly and prevent severe issues.
Brushing on a consistent schedule is important. It's common to skip brushing when you're struggling with nausea due to chemotherapy treatments. You should make every effort to brush on a regular schedule even when you aren't feeling well. Opt for a toothbrush with soft bristles so that you don't irritate already-sensitive gums.
Staying hydrated will keep bacteria at a minimum. Drinking water regularly during your treatments will help to keep your mouth flushed free of bacteria that could potentially damage your teeth and gums. Since you'll be more vulnerable to sores and infections, combating this bacteria is important.
Understanding the risks to your mouth and the way to combat them may help you protect your teeth throughout treatment. Talk with your dentist right away about how to protect your teeth during chemotherapy. Check out sites like http://suncoastdental.com for more information.Share
13 June 2016
My son was outside playing with some friends when he accidentally fell down and hit his mouth on the sidewalk. The fall knocked out his front tooth, so I immediately placed the tooth in a small jar and added some milk. I rushed my son to the dental clinic and the dentist immediately took us into the examination room. The dentist placed the tooth back into the socket and saved it. My name is Beverly Tillman and thanks to the quick work of the dentist, my son didn't lose his tooth. Since this was a scary time for me and my son, I wanted to write this blog as a source of information for other parents who are facing a dental emergency. First of all, don't panic and get to your dentist as soon as possible. I hope this blog will help to answer your questions about dental emergencies.