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Chemotherapy and Your Mouth

February 27,2017

Although an effective treatment option for cancer, chemotherapy can cause a wide range of side effects. Some of these can affect the health of your mouth, which not only results in discomfort but can also cause delay in cancer treatment. Scheduling an appointment with a dentist at a reputable dental clinic such as East Bentleigh Dental Group is highly recommended at least a month before chemotherapy begins. This blog contains information about how chemotherapy affects your oral health and what you can do to avoid unnecessary problems.

The Effects of Chemotherapy on Oral Health

While chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer cells, it can also have a harmful effect on normal cells, including those in your mouth. The effects of chemotherapy on oral health can range from painful gums and a swollen tongue through to burning sensations and alterations in taste. Chemotherapy can also affect the soft lining of your mouth and the glands that produce saliva. These side effects can be painful and make it difficult to chew, swallow and talk. There is also an increased likelihood of developing infections, which can be dangerous during cancer treatments.

Treatment Options

It’s recommended that you have a dentist assess and evaluate your oral health before and after chemotherapy has been conducted. They’ll also be able to provide a range of helpful suggestions that you can take on board to reduce the likelihood of developing problems. Some of these suggestions include:

  • Maintain moisture by drinking lots of water
  • Chew sugarless gum or confectionary
  • Thoroughly clean your teeth, tongue and gums with an extra-soft toothbrush
  • Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol
  • Rinse your mouth with a solution of warm water and a teaspoon of salt multiple times a day
  • Eat soft and moist foods such as mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs

Contact EBDG Today

East Bentleigh Dental Group is a leading destination for oral health advice and dental treatments. Our experienced dental team can provide assistance to patients who are suffering oral health related side effects from chemotherapy. Contact us today by calling (03) 9575 1100 or make a booking online.