October 13, 2015
Here at Snap in Dentures, treat a lot of cancer survivors that lost teeth due to their Cancer treatment. You must know that oral complications from radiation or chemotherapy for any malignancy like Breast Cancer are very common and can compromise patients’ health and quality of life, and affect their ability to complete planned cancer treatment.
For some patients, the complications can be so debilitating that they may tolerate only lower doses of therapy, postpone scheduled treatments, or discontinue treatment entirely. Oral complications can also lead to serious systemic infections. Medically necessary oral care before, during, and after cancer treatment can prevent or reduce the incidence and severity of oral complications, enhancing both patient survival and quality of life.
Oral complications of cancer treatment arise in various forms and degrees of severity, depending on the individual and the cancer treatment. Chemotherapy often impairs the function of bone marrow, suppressing the formation of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets (myelosuppression). Some cancer treatments are described as stomatotoxic because they have toxic effects on the oral tissues.
Following are lists of side effects common to both chemotherapy and radiation therapy:
Oral mucositis: inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes; can increase the risk for pain, oral and systemic infection, and nutritional compromise.
Infection: viral, bacterial, and fungal; results from myelosuppression, xerostomia, and/or damage to the mucosa from chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Xerostomia/salivary gland dysfunction: dryness of the mouth due to thickened, reduced, or absent salivary flow; increases the risk of infection and compromises speaking, chewing, and swallowing. Medications other than chemotherapy can also cause salivary gland dysfunction. Persistent dry mouth increases the risk for dental caries.
Functional disabilities: impaired ability to eat, taste, swallow, and speak because of mucositis, dry mouth, trismus, and infection.
Taste alterations: changes in taste perception of foods, ranging from unpleasant to tasteless.
Nutritional compromise: poor nutrition from eating difficulties caused by mucositis, dry mouth, dysphagia, and loss of taste.
Some oral tips to consider if you’re goint under Breast Cancer treatment are:
Brush teeth, gums, and tongue gently with an extra-soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste after every meal and before bed. If brushing hurts, soften the bristles in warm water.
Floss teeth gently every day. If gums are sore or bleeding, avoid those areas but keep flossing other teeth.
Follow instructions for using fluoride gel.
Avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol.
Rinse the mouth with a baking soda and salt solution, followed by a plain water rinse several times a day. (Use 1/4 teaspoon each of baking soda and salt in 1 quart of warm water.) Omit salt during mucositis.
Exercise the jaw muscles three times a day to prevent and treat jaw stiffness from radiation. Open and close the mouth as far as possible without causing pain; repeat 20 times.
Avoid candy, gum, and soda unless they are sugar-free.
Avoid spicy or acidic foods, toothpicks, tobacco products, and alcohol.
Keep the appointment schedule recommended by the dentist.
If you are reading our site because you already have lost your teeth to cavities, age or gum disease, remember that there’s still hope, we can help you smile again with confidence. Our first priority is always the health of our patients, we want you and your loved ones to keep enjoying your smile for years to come.
For more info about Snap in Dentures, you can call toll free 1800 961 0419.