Oral Care for Prior or During Chemotherapy Treatment
Chemotherapy patients who have good oral health, are less likely to have severe dental complications from their cancer treatment (chemotherapy) than patients with poor oral health. So here are some of our oral care suggestions for you can practice before and during chemotherapy.
Daily Oral Habits to Consider Prior and during Chemotherapy
- It is highly recommended to have professional dental hygiene and periodontal therapy before the institution of chemotherapy and after the completion of chemotherapy treatment. Visit the best dentist in Edmonton or a dentist near you.
- Brush your teeth twice per day using a soft-bristle toothbrush.
- Floss teeth once per day either by regular floss or with a water flossing unit (e.g., Waterpik).
- Daily application of stannous fluoride or sodium fluoride (use as per manufacturer’s direction) is highly recommended. Topical application of fluoride will help re-mineralize the teeth and will protect them from rampant decay that can be caused by dry mouth, which is one of the very common side effects of chemotherapy.
- If you are experiencing dry mouth, use small sips of water through out the day and keep it on the bedside at night as well. There are many other products that your dental hygienist can recommend to use to combat this issue.
- Avoid the use of alcohol-based mouth rinses.
- If the patient is using partial or complete dentures, they should take their dentures out at least once daily (preferably during nighttime, if possible).
- Soak the dentures in antifungal and antibacterial solution (it is very important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If you wear denture use a denture brush to clean the dentures before wearing them back.
At Clean Smiles, we encourage you to do your research and discuss your oral health needs with your Dentist, Dental Hygienist, Medical Doctor, or Oncologist. We strongly believe in being prepared, in prevention and daily care to avoid any dental problems. Having regular dental and periodontal examinations is also necessary for cancer patients.
Dental and Periodontal Examination at Clean Smiles Dental Hygiene Clinic
Ø The Face – Our practitioners examine the face to identify any asymmetry, bone structure, unusual swelling, masses, ulceration, or discoloration.
Ø The Eyes – It is important to check extraocular movement in each direction. This helps test the cranial nerve involvement. Swelling in the eyes or around the periorbital area may need attention.
Ø The Neck – The Dental Hygienist and/or Dentist palpates the neck to check for lymph nodes. The dental and periodontal examination would also require checking the parotid groups at the inferior and anterior regions of the ear. The dentist would also examine the mandible and clavicle region. We check for any swelling in the larynx or signs of enlargement or immobility.
Ø The Thyroid – The dentist would check for nodes and mass formations that indicate an abnormality. The dentist would palpate the gland and ask the patient to swallow. This helps detect any swelling or signs of pain.
Ø The Lips – The dentist will observe the color, contour, texture, and symmetry of the lips. He or she would look for an abnormality in gingival mucosa or the teeth.
Ø The Tongue – Discoloration, irregularities, and limited movement of the tongue are things the examiner will notice. Moreover, the dentist will check for swelling, ulceration, and masses formation on the tongue.
Ø The floor of the Mouth – The dentist will check the sublingual glands and the alveolar ridge of the mandible. He or she will observe the symmetry of the submandibular glands as well. Part of our intraoral examination also includes checking the tonsils and hard and soft palate.
Ø Periodontal & Dental Exam – A thorough dental and periodontal examination is performed, to make sure the periodontal tissues are healthy and no active infection and decay is present. If there is any treatment that needs to be done to fix any dental problem, we recommend to have it performed prior to starting of therapy.
Our team at Clean Smiles with very experienced and skilled Dental Hygienist and one of the best Dentist are here to take care of your oral health care needs. We always consult with your medical doctor and oncologist for any specific guidelines and considerations before providing periodontal therapy to make sure the best possible outcome for you. Book your appointment for a dental and periodontal examination today.
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