How Cancer Treatment Can Affect Your Oral Health

Cancer and Oral Health 

Did you know that one third of cancer treatment patients experience complications with their oral health? In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month,York Orthodontics would like to provide you with some helpful information about oral health and cancer treatment.

Certain cancer treatments are known to affect one’s oral health. Cancer cells increase extremely fast. Therefore, chemotherapy and radiation are used to kill rapidly multiplying cells. Unfortunately, chemotherapy and radiation also kill healthy cells in one’s body and mouth. If you do not have good oral health prior to cancer treatment, your chance of infection and other complications is much greater.

If you are going through cancer treatment and are experiencing the following symptoms, it is important to keep your dentist a part of your cancer treatment team.

  • Mouth sores
  • Bleeding or swelling of the gums
  • Pain in or around the ears
  • Jaw pain
  • Tenderness when biting
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive vomiting

Flossing daily, using soft bristle toothbrushes, and rinsing your mouth after vomiting are all healthy ways you can maintain good oral health during cancer treatment.