People who are undergoing treatment for cancer often experience a wide variety of side effects all over their bodies. This goes for their mouths as well. Many cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy, can cause changes to your mouth that require extra care. Here’s a little information on how your mouth might be affected by your cancer treatment and how you can take care of the symptoms.
How Chemotherapy Affects Your Mouth
Chemotherapy is designed to attack cancer cells by targeting any cells in your body that reproduce rapidly. While this makes chemotherapy extremely effective, it can make you more prone to bleeding and infection. This can affect your gums and teeth in a few different ways.
- Preexisting conditions like cavities or gum disease can become worse.
- Chemotherapy can cause sores in your cheeks or gums that can cause pain and increase the risk of infection.
Dental Care for Cancer Patients
If you are undergoing cancer treatment, you should follow a few regular steps to ensure the health of your mouth.
- Keep visiting your dentist regularly. This allows us to address any existing infections or decay right away so they do not interfere with any aspect of your treatment.
- Brush and floss daily. This needs to be a regular part of your routine, but chemo should not stop that unless your doctor specifically tells you not to. We want you to do anything you can to keep your oral health optimized during your treatment.
- Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. This can help prevent any extra bleeding of the gums, which can happen with certain types of chemo.
If you’re undergoing cancer treatment and would like some more information, call Crossroads Family Dentistry today. We will do whatever we can to help ensure your oral health before, during, and after any type of chemotherapy treatments you may need.