Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Radiation Treatment and your Mouth

While radiaton helps treat cancer, it also causes some harmful side effects.

Radiation is used to kill cancer cells but it can also harm normal cells causing problems with the soft lining of the mouth, glands that make saliva (spit) and the jaw bones.  These side effects can hurt and make it hard to swallow, eat or talk. Infections are likely that may require scaling back or even  suspending cancer treatment says Dr. Cherukuri.

Radiation causes:

Dry mouth resulting in rampant decay

Loss of taste

Sore mouth and gums making swallowing, eating and talking difficult


Jaw stiffness

Jaw bone changes

Seeing your dentist ahead of the start of radiation can help prevent serious mouth problems. Most side effects in the mouth following radiation happen because a person's mouth is not healthy.  You need to see the dentist at least 2 weeks before the first radiation treatment.

  • Keep the mouth moist-
                 Drink a lot of water
                 Suck ice chips
                 Use sugarless gum
                 Use saliva substitutes
  • Brush teeth, gums and tongue with extra soft bristled tooth brush to avoid any injury
  • Use fluoride tooth paste and other fluoride supplements
  • Avoid mouthwashes with any alcohol content.
  • Have ill fitting dentures adjusted.
  • Choose soft, easy to swallow foods
  • Take small bites and sip liquids with your meal.
  • Avoid crunchy, spicy, sugary and highly acidic foods that can aggravate your mouth.
  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks.

For questions of this blog or for  a complimentary office consult,  call 909 627-6699 or visit our website www.chinosmiles.com


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