You or someone you know might begin chemotherapy treatment for cancer soon. If that’s the case, you might want to know a little more about some of the chemo’s effects on your body, in this case, on your teeth.
While chemotherapy helps treat cancer, it can also cause certain side effects which can affect the mouth and could even cause you to delay or stop your treatment. So, to learn more about the effects of chemo on teeth, give the following article a read.
SEE YOUR DENTIST BEFOREHAND
In order to help prevent any serious complications, it’s highly advisable to see a dentist at least two weeks prior to starting chemo.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancer. These substances kill the cancer cells, and in the process, they may also do damage to normal cells, including cells in the mouths. The most common side effects from chemo in the mouth affect the gums and the glands that make saliva.
When it comes to particular chemo side effects on the mouth, they will vary from person to person. Everybody reacts differently to chemo drugs and the problems may only linger during the treatment or a short time after the treatment ends.
The most common side effects from chemotherapy on your mouth may include: pain in the area of the mouth and gums, dry mouth, burning, peeling or swelling tongue, Infection, and changes in taste.
Seeing your dentist before chemotherapy is essential since serious problems can be evaded, In most cases, the side effects mentioned before happen because the persons’ mouth isn’t healthy enough and without optimal health levels, the side effects can cause serious problems.
At the appointment, the dentist will probably take X-rays, check your teeth, and take care of your mouth problems. On the other hand, you may also get a few pointers on how to take care of your mouth in order to prevent side effects.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SIDE EFFECT FREE?
You can also do a lot. The first step is obviously seeing a dentist before starting the treatment. During treatment, you should inspect your mouth every day for changes and sores.
- Keep your mouth moist by drinking a lot of water or sucking on ice chips. Also, use sugar-free gum or sugar-free candy. If necessary, you can also use a saliva substitute to help moisten your mouth.
- Brush your teeth, gums, and tongue with an extra-soft toothbrush after every meal and at bedtime.
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss gently, and wash your mouth with alcohol-free mouthwash daily.
- If your mouth is sore, choose foods that are easy to chew and swallow. Also make sure to take small bites, chew slowly, and always slip liquids with your meals.
- Call your doctor or nurse when your mouth hurts. By working together with them, you can find medicines to help control the pain.
You could stay away from:
- crunchy, hard foods that can scrape your mouth,
- spicy, hot, and foods high in acid,
- tobacco products and
- sugary foods and sodas
Chemotherapy can be hard on you, especially on your teeth. The best thing you can do to minimize side effects to your teeth is to visit your dentist and make sure that everything’s okay with your dental health. During chemo, make sure to monitor your mouth on a daily basis for changes and contact your doctor or nurse if you find something unruly. Also, maintain healthy dental habits and make sure to eat foods which are easy to chew and drink a lot of water.