Chemotherapy: Can You Have Dental Work Completed During Treatment?
If you plan to undergo chemotherapy to treat your cancer, you may wonder if you can still have dental care completed during your cancer treatments. Sources recommend that you see your dentist before your cancer treatments to avoid complications with therapy and your health. Although chemotherapy attacks and eradicates the cancer cells in your body, some of the medications used during therapy can damage the good cells of your body as well. It's important that you obtain preventive dental care, such as cleanings, to help protect your oral health during cancer treatment. Here's how chemotherapy affects your oral health and what you can do to protect it.
How Can Cancer Treatments Affect Your Mouth?
Depending on the type of chemotherapy you have, it may cause a number of issues with your mouth, including dry mouth, cavities and cracked lips. In many cases, the side effects of your treatments are unavoidable. Some individuals may experience problems with their oral health that can interfere with their ability to eat. Mouth sores are some of the issues you might face.
Mouth sores develop when chemotherapy treatments destroy the good cells and bacteria in your mouth. The sores can show on your tongue, inner cheeks and gums. Some sores can develop on the lining of your throat and on the surfaces of your salivary glands and tonsils. You may have problems chewing and swallowing food, such as meat and vegetables. Other foods may cause burning and stinging in the sores. If you don't eat the right meals each day, you may cause issues with your treatments.
The best way to ensure that you maintain good oral care is to see a dentist before treatment.
What Can a Dentist Do to Protect Your Oral Health?
A general or family dentist may schedule you for a thorough gum and teeth cleaning prior to your cancer treatment as a way to prevent bacterial infections in the mouth. In addition, a dentist may repair any tooth decay you have before chemotherapy. The dental treatments may include simple fillings or dental crowns. A dentist will discuss the best treatment options with you during your appointment.
You may expect a dentist to monitor your oral health during cancer treatment. If complications arise, such as a severe infection of the gums, a dentist will devise a treatment plan that works along with your cancer treatment.
For more information about your dental care during chemotherapy, contact a general dentist like Pacific Ave Dental/Allan L. Hablutzel, DDS today.