How Gynecologic Cancer Treatment Affects Your Dental Health

Gynecologic cancer is a type of cancer that affects the female reproductive organs. While it is not as common as other types of cancer, gynecologic cancer can still be deadly if not caught and treated early. One major complication of gynecologic cancer, especially during treatment, is its impact on dental health. If you are undergoing cancer treatment, it is important to see your dentist regularly for checkups and to seek treatment for any dental problems that occur. If you are in need of urgent dental care, contact the best emergency dentist Las Vegas, NV has to offer.

Why You Should Visit a Dentist Before Cancer Treatment

It is very important to visit a dentist before starting cancer therapy. This will help keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy. This will also help your body heal faster by lowering the risk of infection. You should also talk to your oncologist about your dental health. They can tell you more about what to expect during treatment.

Your Oral Health During Cancer Treatment

patient opening her mouth for a dental check up

Oral health can be affected during cancer treatment in a few ways. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can both cause dry mouth, which leads to an increased risk of cavities and other dental problems. Patients undergoing radiation therapy may also experience changes in the tissues of their mouths, which can make it more difficult to keep teeth clean and healthy. Finally, surgery to remove tumors can sometimes damage the salivary glands and lead to a decreased flow of saliva.

Mouth Sores

Many people who are undergoing cancer treatment experience mouth sores also known as mucositis which is an inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth, throat down to the digestive tract.  These sores can be caused by the radiation or chemotherapy treatments, or by the cancer itself. They can be quite painful, making it difficult to eat or speak.

Dry Mouth

Cancer treatment can cause dry mouth because many of the treatments can reduce the production of saliva. Saliva is important for moistening the mouth and protecting teeth against decay. Dry mouth can also lead to bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.

Inflamed Gums

Cancer patients often experience problems with their gums, such as inflamed gums. This is because cancer and its treatment can weaken the immune system and make it more difficult for the body to fight off infections.

Jaw Discomfort

While radiation therapy is highly effective in treating the cancer, it can also cause jawbone deterioration, leading jaw pain or even tooth loss.

Changes in Taste

You may lose your sense of taste during cancer treatment. This can make it difficult to eat the foods you need to stay healthy. It can also make it hard to enjoy the foods you used to like.

How to Maintain Your Dental Health During Treatment

Smiling young woman brushing teeth in bathroom

There are a few things you can do to maintain oral health during cancer treatment.

  • First, try to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. This will help keep your mouth healthy and free of bacteria.
  • You should also brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly.
  • If you experience any dryness or soreness in your mouth, be sure to use a lip balm or moisturizing mouthwash.
  • You can suck on ice during treatment sessions to alleviate soreness of the mouth.
  • If you develop any oral complications, please see your dentist or oncologist as soon as possible.

Conclusion

Gynecologic cancer treatments can cause a number of temporary and long-term dental health problems but always remember that your dentist and oncologist will be with you along the way with all the early problems detection, preventive care and pain alleviation as well as the right steps and measures that you can do on your own to get you through to your recovery.

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