Oral health is very important in our society. When we walk around in our everyday life we come across countless social situations. Because we want our teeth to shine in these encounters most people take great care of their teeth and make sure to visit their dental specialist regularly. But most don’t realize the toll that sickness can take on our teeth and, conversely, the toll that poor dental hygiene can have on our general health and ability to be treated. With treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation, cancer is one such illness that can have a largely negative impact on oral health. In fact, one third of the people being treated for cancer develop complications affecting their mouth during treatment. Because these complications can lead to a delay in treatment, Gulfside Dental’s friendly staff wants to help you through the best ways to manage oral health before, during, and after treatment.
The best way to keep your teeth and mouth from interfering with your cancer treatment is to plan ahead and take good care of your teeth prior to treatment. Practicing good oral hygiene and taking care of any dental issues before beginning treatment can keep these problem areas from worsening and causing complications with your road to recovery. By having your cavities filled, infected teeth removed, fixing broken or cracked teeth, and treating gum disease, you can help minimize possible infection during treatment.
These oral health guidelines are great for keeping your mouth healthy on a day to day basis and are crucial in preparing for cancer treatment. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily removes plaque from your teeth preventing oral disease. Avoiding tobacco products and acidic food can help prevent the breakdown of the enamel of your teeth. Eating healthy foods will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to keep your immune system functioning well. Rinsing regularly with alcohol free fluoride mouthwash is another great way to keep your mouth clean and fresh.
During treatment it is important to consult your oncologist before dental checkups. If your dental team is unaware of certain medications you are taking, such as blood thinners, it could lead to complications during your dental procedures. Mouth sores, dry mouth, sensitive gums, jaw pain, and infection are all complications that could occur during cancer treatment.
It’s important to maintain your good hygiene practices after treatment. Continuing to brush, floss, and rinse your mouth will help to keep your teeth as healthy as possible and your smile bright. Continuing to look for warning signs of oral disease will help to keep you healthy and smiling brightly for a long time to come.
Some patients have such a change or decrease in salivary function that they get cavities very quickly and easily. In some situations, life long intervention is needed in the form of topical applications of silver diamine and/or fluoride trays patients wear at night.
Oral diseases and the poor quality of your teeth can further diminish your quality of life in an already trying time. Our dental staff wants to help you stay healthy and happy so make Gulfside Dental a part of your cancer care team.
If you are located in Naples Florida and want to improve your dental experience, contact Gulfside Dental at (239) 774-3017. We can assess your situation and create a plan to get you smiling again quickly!