How do chemotherapy and radiation affect my dental health?

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There’s no question that chemotherapy and radiation save lives. Unfortunately, however, their side effects are well documented and can cause problems throughout your body.

One area where chemotherapy and radiation side effects are known to be particularly problematic is your oral health. These side effects can be quite serious, and without proper care, can lead to dental disease and tooth loss. Dr. Narra is skilled in dental treatment for cancer patients and will help guide you through these issues so that your dental health problems are minimal and you can emerge from the other side of cancer treatment comfortably and confidently.

Common side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation include:

  • Pain in the teeth and periodontal bone and tissue
  • Difficulty eating, speaking, and swallowing
  • An increased risk of infection, particularly periodontitis
  • Reduced saliva production, leading to dry mouth (a common precursor to periodontal disease)
  • Swelling or peeling of the tongue
  • Changes in the way things taste, which can lead to malnutrition

If you are experiencing these issues, notify your oncologist right away.

Before your chemotherapy or radiation treatment begins, call our Glendale dental office to schedule your appointment with Dr. Narra. She’ll perform an examination and work with you to create a dental care plan during your cancer treatment to help you have the best results.
 

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