Sunday, February 18, 2024

Does Chemo Affect Your Teeth

Managing Dry Socket Pain

Chemotherapy: How do I prevent mouth sores? | Norton Cancer Institute

The primary treatment for a dry socket is pain management. In addition to the dry socket paste, your dentist may prescribe painkillers and send you home with directions on using ice packs and rinse gently with a saltwater solution. You still need to maintain good oral hygiene, so be particularly careful when using a toothbrush.

Chemotherapy Side Effects And Dental Health

Do you know that Chemotherapys side effects also include affecting your oral and dnetal health?

Chemotherapy is an aggressive form of chemical drug therapy that helps to destroy rapidly growing cells in your body.

Moreover, in most cases, it is used to treat cancer, as cancer cells grow and divide faster than other cells.

Oncologists are doctors that specialize in cancer treatment and will work with you to come up with the treatment plan.

Furthermore, they may use chemotherapy in combination with other therapies.

These include surgery, radiation, or hormone therapy.

The use of chemotherapy depends on the stage and type of cancer, your overall health, previous cancer treatment, location of cancer cells, and your personal treatment preference.

Many doctors consider it a systemic treatment, which means that it will affect your whole body.

It is important to note that this therapy effectively attacks cancer cells, however, can cause serious side effects and severely affect your quality of life.

Keep on reading to learn more about chemotherapys side effects and your dental health.

Complications May Be Acute Or Chronic

Acute complications are ones that occur during treatment and then go away. Chemotherapy usually causes acute complications that heal after treatment ends.

Chronic complications are ones that continue or appear months to years after treatment ends. Radiation can cause acute complications but may also cause permanent tissue damage that puts you at a lifelong risk of oral complications. The following chronic complications may continue after radiation therapy to the head or neck has ended:

  • Problems in the mouth and jaw caused by loss of tissue and bone.
  • Problems in the mouth and jaw caused by the growth of benign tumors in the skin and muscle.

Oral surgery or other dental work can cause problems in patients who have had radiation therapy to the head or neck. Make sure that yourdentist knows your health history and the cancer treatments you received.

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What Can I Do To Keep My Mouth Healthy

You should check your mouth every day to look for any changes. The best way to do this is to look in a mirror. Look for sores and gums that bleed easily after brushing.

You can relieve dry mouth, which may cause your mouth to burn or feel sore, by drinking plenty of water. Chewing gum or sucking on ice chips and sugarless candy may also help. You can also use a saliva substitute that can be bought at a drug store. Two saliva substitutes are called Optimoist and Salivart.

It is very important to take good care of your teeth. You should brush your teeth, gums and tongue gently with an extra-soft bristle toothbrush. Brush in the morning after waking up, after every meal and at bedtime.

It is helpful to soften the brush in warm water. You should use toothpaste that contains fluoride. You should also floss your teeth daily. If flossing causes bleeding or soreness, you should avoid that area but continue to floss all of your other teeth.

You should avoid using alcohol and tobacco products. Do not use a mouthrinse that has alcohol in it. You can find out which ones contain alcohol by reading the label on the bottle. Some of the mouthrinses that have alcohol in them are Listerine, Scope and Cepacol. Using these mouthrinses will make a dry mouth worse.

Mouth Care For Children

Brandon has a new smile after cancer

Children should follow the guidelines in this resource. They should also follow the ones listed below.

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste. For children 2 years of age or younger, talk with a dentist or doctor before using fluoride toothpaste.
  • If your child doesnt have teeth yet, use a washcloth, towelette, or sponge and water to clean their gums after meals and before bed.
  • If your childs immune system is stable, they should visit the dentist for routine care every 6 months.
  • Talk with Child Life Services to learn how to help your child manage their pain. You can reach them at .

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Oral Complications Are Common In Cancer Patients Especially Those With Head And Neck Cancer

Complications are new medical problems that occur during or after a disease, procedure, or treatment and that make recovery harder. The complications may be side effects of the disease or treatment, or they may have other causes. Oral complications affect the mouth.

Cancer patients have a high risk of oral complications for a number of reasons:

  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy slow or stop the growth of new cells.

    These cancer treatments slow or stop the growth of fast growing cells, such as cancer cells. Normal cells in the lining of the mouth also grow quickly, so anticancer treatment can stop them from growing, too. This slows down the ability of oral tissue to repair itself by making new cells.

  • Radiation therapy may directly damage and break down oral tissue, salivary glands, and bone.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy upset the healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth.

    There are many different kinds of bacteria in the mouth. Some are helpful and some are harmful. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may cause changes in the lining of the mouth and the salivary glands, which make saliva. This can upset the healthy balance of bacteria. These changes may lead to mouth sores, infections, and tooth decay.

This summary is about oral complications caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

How Cancer Affects Your Mouth

Cancer and its treatments, like chemotherapy, can weaken your immune system. If your mouth is not as healthy as possible prior to your cancer treatment, you may be more susceptible to infection. If the infection is serious enough, it can delay your cancer treatment.

In addition, radiation therapy, especially in the area of the head and neck, can damage salivary glands which can cause thick, sticky saliva and extreme . A dry mouth can increase your chances of and infection.

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Children Can Be Affected Too

Chemotherapy causes other side effects in children, depending on the child’s age. The most common side effect is developing problems with their teeth. Permanent teeth may be slow to come in and may look different from normal teeth. The child’s teeth may also fall out. It’s important that the paediatric dentist check your child’s jaw for any growth problems. Loose teeth, or those that may become loose during chemotherapy treatment, should be pulled by the dentist prior to chemotherapy.

While the above all sound absolutely horrific , there are certain remedies, preventions and treatments you can use for these mouth and oral issues caused by chemotherapy.

Your Mda Dentist Is On Your Cancer

Taking Care of Your Teeth and Mouth During Cancer Treatment

It takes a whole team and a strong support system to battle cancer. No matter the type of cancer youre facing or the treatment approach you choose, youre not alone. If you or a loved one are going through cancer treatment, your MDA dentist and their dental care team are here for you.

Michigan Dental Association dentists are medically trained to understand how cancer treatment therapies affect the mouth. They can help you protect yourself from complications that could put your health and cancer treatment at risk. Talk to your MDA dentist about the specific oral health complications that may result from your treatment. With the support of your entire medical care team, you can make the best decisions for your unique needs.

Also Check: Does Radiation Treatment Affect Your Immune System

Cancer Treatment And Your Teeth

Cancer treatment, such as radiotherapy of the head and neck, can often result in xerostomia , leading to several oral health problems. Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands are damaged or not functioning correctly, reducing saliva production.

Saliva is essential for keeping the mouth healthy by washing away food and bacteria and neutralizing acids. Saliva also contains minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, necessary for remineralizing tooth enamel. Without enough saliva, teeth can become susceptible to cavities and gum disease. In addition, the mucous membranes in the mouth can become cracked and sore, making eating and talking difficult.

Oral Complications Of Chemotherapy And Radiation Therapy In Children

Children who received high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy to the head and neck may not have normal dental growth and development. New teeth may appear late or not at all, and tooth size may be smaller than normal. The head and face may not develop fully. The changesare usually the same on both sides of the head and are not always noticeable.

Orthodontic treatment for patients with these dental growth and development side effects is being studied.

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Other Oral Side Effects Of Chemotherapy And Radiation

Trismus, also known as lockjaw, is a common side effect among people undergoing oral cancer treatment. Trismus limits the amount of motion in your jaw, making it difficult to eat or talk. Around 30 percent of patients who receive chemoradiation treatment experience trismus. Trismus can be difficult, but it is often temporary and will go away after treatment.

Another common chemo side effect that affects your mouth is difficulty swallowing, known medically as dysphagia. Your dentist can help treat dysphagia, especially if it’s caused by dry mouth. Regularly rinsing your mouth can help keep your mouth clean and can help with swallowing.

If thickened saliva is causing the difficulty, your dentist may recommend prescription products or artificial saliva combined with drinking water throughout the day to help with thickened saliva and dry mouth. Avoiding things that can make your mouth drier, such as caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, will also help.

Dental Treatments May Be Put Off Until The Patient’s Immune System Returns To Normal

Bleeding Gums Might be a Sign of Leukemia

Regular dental treatments, including cleaning and polishing, should wait until the transplant patient’s immune system returns to normal. The immune system can take 6 to 12 months to recover after high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. During this time, the risk of oral complications is high. If dental treatments are needed, antibiotics and supportive care are given.

Supportive care before oral procedures may include giving antibiotics or immunoglobulin G, adjusting steroid doses, and/or platelettransfusion.

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General Side Effects Of Chemotherapy

There are more than 100 different chemotherapy drugs which cause different general side effects such as bone marrow suppression,, anemia , and hair loss . Other side effects aredefects in spermatogenesis , nausea and vomiting , fatigue , diarrhea, hand-foot syndrome , cardiotoxicity , reactivation of hepatitis B, neurologic complications . Notably chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is possible to engage oral cavity and other sites simultaneously. There are several types of drugs that cause CIPN. These drugs are DNA alkylating agents , microtubule-targeting and other drugs such as proteasome inhibitors. Neurotoxicity can appear in up to 97% of patients treated with oxaliplatin, whichis manifested in an acute or chronic form. The acute form is characterized by hyper-excitability whereas, paresthesias in the mouth and throat are common symptoms. The chronic form is characterized by sensory paresthesias, dysesthesias, and ataxia of the extremities. Furthermore, endocrine disorders , liver disease, and cutaneous disordersclosely related to targeted chemotherapy have been related to chemotherapy.

Care Of The Teeth And Gums Is Important During Chemotherapy Or Stem Cell Transplant

Talk to your medical doctor or dentist about the best way to take care of your mouth during high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. Careful brushing and flossing may help prevent infection of oral tissues. The following may help prevent infection and relieve discomfort of oral in tissues:

  • Brush teeth with a soft-bristle brush 2 to 3 times a day. Be sure to brush the area where the teeth meet the gums.
  • Rinse the toothbrush in hot water every 15 to 30 seconds to keep the bristles soft.
  • Rinse your mouth 3 or 4 times while brushing.
  • Avoid rinses that have alcohol in them.
  • Use a mild-tasting toothpaste.
  • Let the toothbrush air-dry between uses.
  • Floss according to your medical doctor’s or dentist’s directions.
  • Clean the mouth after meals.
  • Use foam swabs to clean the tongue and roof of the mouth.
  • Avoid the following:
  • Foods that are spicy or acidic.
  • “Hard” foods that could irritate or break the skin in your mouth, such as chips.
  • Hot foods and drinks.

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Oral Devices Need Special Care During High

The following can help in the care and use of dentures, braces, and other oral devices during high-dose chemotherapy or stem cell transplant:

  • Have brackets, wires, and retainers removed before high-dose chemotherapy begins.
  • Wear dentures only when eating during the first 3 to 4 weeks after the transplant.
  • Brush dentures twice a day and rinsing them well.
  • Soak dentures in an antibacterial solution when they are not being worn.
  • Clean denture soaking cups and changing denture soaking solution every day.
  • Remove dentures or other oral devices when cleaning your mouth.
  • Continue your regular oral care 3 or 4 times a day with dentures or other devices out of the mouth.
  • If you have mouth sores, avoid using removable oral devices until the sores have healed.

Rinse Your Mouth Often

Chemotherapy: What can I do to combat fatigue? | Norton Cancer Institute

Rinsing your mouth out can help keep debris and food off your gums and teeth. You can reduce your chance of infection and dental decay with regular brushing, flossing and rinsing often. Rinsing can also help after vomiting, which is a side effect of chemo, by keeping the acids from damaging your teeth enamel. You might also want to cut back on eating citrus fruit or other highly acidic foods.

You can make your own rinsing solution with any of the following:

  • A teaspoon of salt mixed in four cups of water
  • A teaspoon of baking soda mixed in one cup of water
  • A half teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of baking soda mixed in four cups of water

Dental education related to cancer treatment is helpful for proper oral health during your treatment.

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Trouble Swallowing Or Opening Your Mouth Fully

This can be caused by head and neck cancer or treatment side effects.

Your doctor or nurse will advise you on how to cope with any side effects. You may be prescribed medicine or given suggestions to make eating, drinking and swallowing easier. Your doctor may refer you to a dietitian or speech pathologist to help you manage your oral side effects, eating and drinking.

If you have any side effects, especially if they werent discussed with you before treatment, let your treatment team know. See more on ways to manage side effects.

At times life was tough but it slowly improved. I still suffer from a dry mouth and always carry a bottle of water.

Mary, head and neck cancer survivor

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Prevention Of Oral Complications Includes A Healthy Diet Good Oral Care And Dental Checkups

Ways to prevent oral complications include the following:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet. Healthy eating can help the body stand the stress of cancer treatment, help keep up your energy, fight infection, and rebuild tissue.
  • Keep your mouth and teeth clean. This helps prevent cavities, mouth sores, and infections.
  • Have a complete oral health exam.

    Your dentist should be part of your cancer care team. It is important to choose a dentist who has experience treating patients with oral complications of cancer treatment. A checkup of your oral health at least a month before cancer treatment begins usually allows enough time for the mouth to heal if any dental work is needed. The dentist will treat teeth that have a risk of infection or decay. This will help avoid the need for dental treatments during cancer treatment. Preventive care may help lessen dry mouth, which is a common complication of radiation therapy to the head or neck.

    A preventive oral health exam will check for the following:

  • Mouth sores or infections.
  • Dentures that do not fit well.
  • Problems moving the jaw.
  • Problems with the salivary glands.

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Causes Of Dental Or Oral Side Effects

Not all cancer treatments affect the mouth, teeth, and jaw. But the following treatments may cause specific dental and oral side effects. To learn more about your risk of experiencing these side effects, talk with your health care team.

Radiation therapy to the head and neck. Side effects of radiation therapy to the head and neck may be temporary or continue for several years after treatment. They can include:

  • Stiffness in the jaw

  • Higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease

Radiation therapy can change the amount and consistency of your saliva. This increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Having good oral hygiene is important in lowering your risk of these conditions. Your dentist may also recommend special fluoride treatments during and after radiation therapy. This treatment, along with a low-sugar diet, can help protect your teeth. Your doctor or dentist may also recommend exercises to prevent stiffness in the jaw.

Learn more about the side effects of radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy. Dental and oral side effects from chemotherapy usually go away soon after treatment ends. They include:

Learn more about the side effects of chemotherapy.

Bone marrow/stem cell transplantation. The high-dose chemotherapy that is usually given before a bone marrow or stem cell transplant may cause dental and oral side effects. These are similar to those described under chemotherapy above.

Learn more about the side effects of bone marrow transplantation.

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