Caring for your mouth for cancer patients

It is fundamental to have a check up before commencing any cancer treatment, carrying out any necessary odontological treatments that are necessary in order to reduce complications during and after treatment.

Dental higiene and care is essential to prevent and minimize these effects.

Even though it is ideal to carry out dental treatments before chemotherapy , if a problem does arises during dental treatments you should consult with your dentist as son as posible to solve the problem.

Not all patients who undertake chemotheraphy suffer the same complications , because every individual is different , because of the toxicity and the drug dosages used in different protocols.

The most complicated complication is mucositis, which has very various stages. The mildest form is a redness of the oral mucosa that produces an itching and tingling sensation and hypersensitivity to certain foods. In other cases, mouth ulcers form and inflamation of the gums, which can cause difficulty in  talking and eating.

Patients who are subject to radiotheraphy of neck and head

Care of the mouth cavity is very important in patients who are receiving head and neck radiotherapy , as besides mucositis they could also experience other complications like dry mouth , which increases the susceptibility to cavities and makes difficult the dental higiene.

It´s very important that all the extractions are carried out before radiotherapy treatments, that way preventing the possibility of osteonecrosis. 

 When you do have mucositis, you can adopt various measures:

Protect the mucosa from irritations and aggressions: very hot foods, spicy foods etc.

Maintain your mouth hydrated: high intake of liquids and hydrating gels ( products for dry mouth or which contain hyaluronic acid ).

We recommend  careful dental brushing with a soft brush and a toothpaste which does not contain  irritants like Lauryl Sulfate, or intense flavours like mint. Toothpastes especially for xerostomía (dry mouths ) might be more appropriate.

Suck on ice chips, That can be scented with camomile tea or lemon.

Hydrating lip balms help to maintain your lips in good condition.

In case you suffer from gum inflamation or gum disease you can use a mouthwash of chlohexidine without alcohol after brushing.

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Use a mouthwash of wáter and camomile tea, or better yet dilute half a tablespoon of salt and half a tablespoon of baking soda in 200ml of wáter and rinse your mouth several times a day.

In case of the existance of mouth ulcers and erosion, consult with your dentist , so a more appropriate treatment can be prescribed.

In some cases, the use of removable protheses should be kept to a mínimum.