Is It Safe to Have Poor Oral Health When Going Through Chemo?
Posted on 10/15/2019 by Matt Aldridge DDS
It is not safe to have poor oral health when going through chemotherapy. Chemotherapy causes changes throughout your body, and one area affected is your mouth.
The gums and teeth become weaker and more susceptible to infection and injury. It is important to take extra care for the duration of your chemotherapy treatment, to prevent tooth loss and gum disease.
What Should I Do to Keep My Mouth Healthy During Chemo?
You should always see us two weeks before starting chemotherapy. If you've already begun chemotherapy, it's important to come see us as soon as possible.
While being treated, you should not use an alcohol mouthwash. Products containing alcohol can irritate the gums and cause excess wear. Do not consume tobacco products, either, as these can also irritate the gums and other soft tissues in the mouth.
It is important to keep flossing and brushing daily, but you may notice your gums bleed more easily. In this case, you may be tempted to stop flossing altogether. Continue flossing, and inform our office of your symptoms. Never use toothpicks as an alternative to floss—they can pierce the gums and cause injury to the mouth.
Eat foods that are easy on the teeth and gums. Avoid sharp, crunchy foods that may cause lesions to the gums, and bleeding. Hot, spicy, and acidic foods can irritate the mouth and should be consumed in moderation.
Our dentist will be well qualified to help you keep your mouth healthy while being treated. We can give recommendations on products and practices best suited for your treatment. It is important to take a look inside your mouth daily, looking for any new, potentially harmful changes. If you see any sores inside the mouth, please call our office immediately.
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