Cancer Treatment and Your Oral Health
As harder it could be to even hear the word cancer, the appearance of it seems inevitable in 1.6 million people every year. And you never know if you or your loved ones get included in this list. Well, it is hard to fight off but the treatments exist. And the treatments in this modern age are so effective that they have helped well in reducing the chances of failure. While the doctors are consistently working to discover the painless methods to cure cancer, it isn’t the case at least for now. Cancers result in progress towards painful death and their treatments bring with them the painful times.
Among the other areas which get affected due to cancer treatment, oral cavity is the one which can make the life of a person quite miserable if it gets affected due to treatment. Several areas of mouth are filled with the fragile tissues which are not made to endure harsh treatments. Cancer treatments normally do not affect oral cavity but the ones targeted at neck and head can be quite painful for the mouth as well. It usually happens due to dryness of mouth. Our oral cavities contain salivary glands which generate this fluid to fight off any kind of infection in the mouth. if the oral cavity gets affected due to cancer treatment, salivary gland is the first thing to lose functionality. As a result, the mouth may run out of saliva.
Here, it is worth mentioning that this condition is not permanent. It remains there until the effects of chemotherapy wear off. Chemotherapy in general and radiation therapy in case of head and neck cancer can be quite irritating for the mouth, and not to mention they can result in oral health issues which the patient would need to get special treatment for after the cancer treatment concludes.
The biggest impact of cancer treatment on oral health is that it makes the mouth dry. And this condition may not seem like an acute one. Hence, the treatment of this persistent problem needs to be dealt with in an aggressive manner. At-home treatments include consumption of plenty of water, special toothpastes, and use of Xyli-melt lozenges.
Another impact that some of the cancer treatments may come with is associated with the deterioration of jawbone. This problem can also be called osteonecrosis (ONJ). If you are concerned about this disease prior to the treatment you are going to have, you can check with your dentist in order to have better evaluation of your mouth.