Cancer Treatment May Affect Your Oral Health

Patients currently undergoing care for cancer may not consider their oral health. However, it is important to note that cancer treatments can affect all parts of the body, including the mouth. Also keep in mind that poor oral hygiene increases the chances of developing side effects. A clean and healthy mouth will give you a better outlook for successful treatment.

Good Oral Health Increases Chances for Successful Treatment

Let your dentist know if you are being treated for cancer. Some therapies may weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections. If you can, speak to your dentist before starting any treatment. This way your dentist can complete any necessary work for tooth decay or other infections in your mouth.

With cancer treatments, sores or a dry mouth are two possible side effects. Not only can this be uncomfortable, but it can also increase the risk of tooth decay.  This is because saliva washes away food particles from teeth and helps lessen that risk. Your dentist may give you an artificial saliva solution to help protect your teeth.

There are some simple daily practices for cancer patients to protect their oral health. Brushing with a toothpaste containing fluoride at least twice a day is a must. Also make sure to floss regularly and drink enough water to prevent a dry mouth. Consider chewing sugar free gum or suck on candy without sweeteners if you cannot get fluids. It is also a good idea to avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol. All these tips will help maintain the health of your mouth during treatment.

Do not neglect your oral health if you are dealing with cancer. With proper hygiene, you can keep your mouth healthy. For any questions about cancer treatment and oral health, please contact the office of Dr. Scott Malik at 847-724-1771. You can also get information on his website at Dr. Malik and his professional staff have been serving the Glenview area and keeping mouths healthy for many years.