Taking care of your oral health should be a top priority for everyone. After all, the mouth is a gateway to your entire body. Take care of it, and you’ll help keep yourself healthy in general.
Research has found that good oral health can help with chemotherapy. In fact, it’s advised that cancer patients get oral treatment before they start the therapy. In doing so, it can contribute to reducing the risk of the various side-effects.
There are many oral health issues that cancer patients can face. Common ones include a change in sense of taste, dry mouth, and difficulty swallowing. More severe ones include gum pain, teeth breaking down, and mouth sores. It’s found that these problems are particularly bad in patients going through chemotherapy. When these issues occur, they’re often overlooked, and nothing is done about them. As a result, patients end up developing further – and more severe – oral health problems. Failure to take care of common oral issues leads to things like gum disease, which can be very serious. Experts say that any damage to the mouth that’s caused be a weak immune system must be taken care of as soon as possible.
When a chemo patient develops oral health problems, it can be very harmful to them. They become weaker, and it’s a big issue for patients with head or neck cancers. You see, strong doses of chemo cause your body’s immune system to shut down. Your body doesn’t produce as many infection-fighting cells as it should. This is what leads to the oral problems, and increases the risk of tooth decay too.
Doctors urge cancer patients to take care of their oral health before having chemo. See a dentist and get a proper checkup to find out if everything is in good condition. If there are any issues, you must get them sorted up. Otherwise, they can become exacerbated during the therapy. For example, a dentist can identify tooth decay at its earliest stage. At this point, treatment is quick and easy, and the problem can be rectified. If you don’t see your dentist, then chemo can cause your tooth to decay quicker and become a much larger problem.
There are many tips to help patients take better care of their mouth during chemo. Firstly, it’s recommended you drink plenty of water, to limit the risk of dry mouth. Undergoing multi-vitamin therapy can help with ulcers and any soreness of the mouth. And, of course, clean your teeth regularly and don’t miss dental checkups.
Proper oral health can help make chemo that little bit more bearable. If you can clamp down on the side effects, then you have fewer things to worry about. By not taking care of your teeth and gums, you can make the therapy much harder. As well as battling a horrific disease, you have to contend with multiple other issues. Things like gum disease and tooth decay can be hard to deal with. They lead to pain, and make it tough for you to eat and swallow properly. Day-to-day life can be a whole lot worse when oral health isn’t maintained.