Proper Oral Care During Chemotherapy
Did you know that oral care is extremely important during chemotherapy? This week we’re fortunate enough to have an expert guest blogger, Dr. Marc Tindell, DMD, to further explain why:
Some of the most uncomfortable side effects of undergoing chemotherapy are the resulting mouth ulcers, oral tissue sloughing and relentless pain that often lead to an inability to eat, with eventual malnourishment.
Effectively controlling the onset of these problems begins with a clean mouth, free of disease and decayed teeth. Healthy teeth and gums act as a wonderful barrier to bacteria and other irritants that may weaken our immune systems.
Achieving a healthy mouth begins with a visit for a dental checkup and necessary treatments. This should be accomplished as soon as possible, preferably before therapy begins. Each patient should also be instructed in the most useful techniques for preventing bacteria buildup that routinely forms at and under the gum margins, and on tooth surfaces.
A word of warning, it is imperative during therapy to avoid anything but the blandest of toothpastes (no whitening, tarter control, etc) and mouthwashes containing alcohol as these may further aggravate the effects of chemotherapy. Use of over-the-counter saliva stimulants is also strongly encouraged to help counteract or mitigate the symptoms that may occur.
Lastly, be prepared to modify your diet with foods and liquids that are bland, nutritious and easy to swallow. Avoid citrus and spicy items too, and drink plenty of fluids.
About Dr. Tindell:
Dr. Marc S. Tindell is a doctor of dental medicine (DMD) proudly serving dental patients in Tampa, North Tampa and throughout Hillsborough County. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, West Coast Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, and Fellows of the Academy of General Dentistry.
If you are a patient that is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment and in need of a qualified and trusted dentist, please contact our team at RN Cancer Guides: 813.360.1145.