If you have been diagnosed with cancer and have been scheduled for chemotherapy, you should start thinking about your oral health. This is because oral health problems are some of the side effects of chemotherapy. You need to take measures to protect your mouth; measures such as these five:
Consult a Dentist
The first thing is to consult a dentist so that they can prepare you for what to expect. An experienced dentist will advise you on what you need to do to minimize the effect of chemotherapy on your oral health. even if you have read or researched on these mitigation effects, it's still important to see your dentist. That is the only way you can get a customized mitigation plan that is customized just for you.
Treat Existing Issues
If you have good oral health, then you can move directly to the treatment stage after consulting with your dentist. If that is not the case, then you need to treat any existing issues first. This is necessary because starting chemotherapy without taking care of your oral health issues will just worsen them. Therefore, get your thrush problem or gum issues sorted out first before getting into your cancer treatment.
Be Extra Keen with Your Oral Hygiene Routine
It's essential to maintain a clean mouth always. It's even more important to do so if you are undergoing chemotherapy and your gums have been or may be affected by the treatment. Therefore, spend an extra time brushing and flossing to reach all the corners of your mouth. If you haven't been using mouthwash before, start using it now (the alcohol-free variety) as an extra edge against oral bacteria.
Change Your Toothbrush
Chemotherapy may make your gums extra sensitive during this period. Therefore, your normal medium-bristled brush may be too painful to use during this period. Switch to a soft-bristled brush so that you don't stop your daily oral care just because your gums are sensitive or painful.
Treat the Symptoms as they Arise
Chemotherapy affects people in different ways, so you need to watch out for the symptoms and treat them as they appear. For example, dry mouth (xerostomia) is one of the most common symptoms of chemotherapy. Therefore, you need to drink lots of fluids throughout the day, use saliva substitute programs, and chew sugar-free gum to keep your mouth moist. This will minimize the symptoms usually associated with dry mouth such as difficulty talking, cracked lips, and difficulty eating, among others.Share