Breast Cancer: Chemotherapy and Your Mouth

Make sure to visit your dentist before being treated for breast cancer.

Make an appointment to see your dentist before beginning treatment for breast cancer.

Chemotherapy is a common treatment option for breast cancer. While early treatment undoubtedly can help save your life, it is important to be aware of the effects it can have on your oral health too.

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment option. It is used to kill cancerous cells, but it also tends to kill healthy cells in the process. It is usually one of many treatment options used to suppress cancerous cells.

What are the oral heath side effects?

The destruction of healthy cells inside the mouth can lead to problems with teeth and gums. The lining of the mouth is very soft and gets affected easily too. Another common side effect is harm to the salivary glands. As a result of the side effects, one may find it difficult to swallow or talk.

It also makes the person more vulnerable to mouth infections and other bothersome oral problems:

    • Pain in the gums and mouth
    • Painful tongue that may peel and burn
    • Drying of the mouth due to less saliva
    • Dental infections
    • Change in taste

How can your dentist help?

It is advisable for any person undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer to see a dentist before starting treatment. This can help to prevent dental problems to a large extent. Side effects often occur because the mouth, like any other part, is more vulnerable to infection due to the weakness caused by chemotherapy. If your dental health is improved before the treatment, the side effects can either be avoided or the intensity can be reduced. This will help you to avoid discomfort and stay on your treatment schedule.

It is best to see your dentist at least a month before your chemotherapy treatment begins. If you haven’t seen one before and are already going through the side effects, then don’t waste any time, go now. The dentist can examine your oral cavity, clean your teeth and gums, and reduce your chances of infection. The dentist will also show you the proper dental care method and tips to stay mouth-healthy, so your mouth remains clean and free from diseases.

Breast cancer treatment can be quite painful. Do not add to your woes by suffering from side effects that can be prevented. Visit a dentist to know more about how to take care of your mouth before, during and after chemotherapy treatment.

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