Thursday, February 23, 2012
Maintaining Oral Health During Cancer Therapy
Oral complications that compromise periodontal health, are sometimes a result of cancer therapy. It is extremely important to keep your teeth & gums healthy during this difficult time by seeing a periodontist, Dr. Sutor.
The American Academy of Periodontology gives some possible side effects of cancer treatments:
Inflamed gums and mouth ulcers
Difficulty speaking, chewing, and swallowing
Erosion of tooth enamel
Loss of taste
The AAP also suggests before beginning your cancer treatment, an oral evaluation is very important. It will give you the ability to correct potential problems in your mouth and keep them from getting worse or interfering with your cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy and radiation can cause excessive dryness of your mouth. Some helpful tips during treatment are to keep your mouth moist by sipping cool water, ice chips, chew sugarless gum, apply lip balm and use a humidifier at night.
Your periodontist may also prescribe a fluoride treatment for you, or suggest a dry mouth toothpaste or rinse such as Biotene (www.biotene.com)
As your cancer therapy comes to an end, this relationship with your periodontist is still very important to maintain your healthy mouth for a lifetime.