woman at the dentist

Cancer treatment can have side effects that affect your mouth. It is important that that you continue care with you dentist, as well as, your doctor treating your cancer. Your dentist can help you take care of the problems that occur during cancer treatment.

Oral side effects from cancer treatments can include:

• Cavities

• Dry mouth

• Jaw pain and stiffness

• Oral sores

• Change in taste.

Typical treatment for cancer treatment normally includes chemotherapy and radiation. The National Cancer Institute recommends that you see the dentist 4 weeks before beginning cancer treatment. Your dentist can look for things such as cavities, gum disease and mouth sore, all of which can get worse or cause problems during cancer treatment.

Good oral hygiene-taking care of your teeth- can help lower the risk of dental issues getting worse during treatment.

It is suggested that you do the following:

• Brush your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that has fluoride in it;

• Clean between your teeth once a day with dental floss or another cleaner designed for that purpose;

• Avoid sugary foods and drinks.

Radiation treatments for head and neck cancer can damage the salivary glands, which can cause you to have dry mouth. Many medications, including those that are used for chemotherapy, also cause dry mouth.

You can make yourself more comfortable if you have dry mouth by:

• Sip water and sugarless drinks;

• Suck on ice chips;

• Apply lanolin-based lip balm often;

• Use sugar-free chewing gum or sugar-free candy to stimulate salivary production;

• Use a mouth rinse that is alcohol free;

• Avoid salty or spicy foods;

• Avoid alcohol and tobacco.

See your dentist before you begin treatment for cancer and let him or her know about any problems with your mouth before and during treatment.

As usual, we always welcome new patients. We offer FREE complimentary consultations. For more information or to schedule an appointment to have your oral health evaluated and receive an accurate estimate for your treatment, give Roswell Dental Care a call at 470.288.1152. www.RoswellDentalCare.com

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