Friday, November 2, 2012

Chemotherapy and your mouth!

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancer. These drugs kill cancer cells as well as harm normal cells, including cells in the mouth.

Mouth problems resulting from Chemotherapy include-

Painful mouth and gums
Dry mouth
Burning, peeling or swelling of tongue
Change in taste

A patient should see a dentist atleast two weeks prior to start of chemotherapy to check teeth, take the needed X rays and review oral hygeine practices to keep mouth healthy.

Once treatment starts-

 Do a self examinationation of the mouth every day.
Drink a lot of water
Suck ice chips
Use sugarless gum or sugar-free hard candy
Use a saliva substitute to misten mouth.
Brush teeth, gums and tongue with an extra soft toothbrush.
Use fluoride toothpaste
Floss gently
Regularly check ill fitting dentures
Choose easy to chew foods
Take small bites, chew slowly and sip liquids with your meals.
Avoid tobacco products
Avoid Alcoholic drinks

Side effects in the mouth can be serious. Call your dentist or Oncologist (cancer doctor)  if you notice any mouth problems.

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