Well-known side effects of chemotherapy include nausea and hair loss. One that is not so well known is that over a third of cancer patients can also develop dental health issues such as a burning, peeling or swelling tongue, oral infections, a pain in the mouth and gums, dry mouth, and a transformation in taste.
Dry mouth can cause issues when it comes to your teeth and gums because saliva isn’t there to clean out bad bacteria. To battle this problem, you’ll want to drink a lot of water, suck on (but don’t bite down on) ice chips, and chew sugarless gum. You can even utilize a saliva substitute. You can order these online and at the occasional drugstore without even asking your doctor for a prescription.
To avoid irritating your mouth, brush your teeth with an extra soft-bristled toothbrush after every meal and at bedtime. You can even try running the brush under warm water first to soften it. Use fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth from decay. You’ll also want to floss gently every day, evading flossing any particularly sore areas.
If your mouth hurts, watch what you eat and drink. Try to consume soft, moist foods such as cooked cereals, scrambled eggs, and mashed potatoes. If you want to eat tougher foods, you can soften them with sauce, broths, yogurt or other liquids. Avoid crunchy or spicy foods, extremely sugary foods, and controlled substances like alcohol and tobacco.
If you need help with anything at all, don’t hesitate to call Mission Ranch Dental Aesthetics in Ladera Ranch, California at 949-388-6325 to talk to a member of our dental staff. We can set up an appointment to meet with Dr. Richard D. Guthrie as needed. We’re here to support you!