During cancer treatment, cells lining the mucus membrane are not replaced as quickly as needed, leaving the mouth especially susceptible to mouth sores, infections, and bleeding gums. These oral complications—which are the fourth most common side effect of cancer treatment—compromise health and quality of life, making it difficult to chew, swallow, and even speak.
Dr. Susan Calderbank, B.S., D.M.D., an award-winning expert in oral health for patients undergoing chemotherapy, has partnered with The Natural Dentist to offer the following five tips for a proper oral hygiene program to help maintain a healthy mouth before and during treatment:
1. See your dentist one month prior to starting any cancer treatment for a comprehensive exam.
2. Clean your mouth every four hours and before you go to bed. If you have a lot of mouth sores, you may wish to do this more frequently.
3. Brush with a very soft pediatric toothbrush, and replace it often.
4. Rinse as often as possible with a soothing mouth rinse, like The Natural Dentist Health Gums ™ Mouth Rinse, that does not contain alcohol, harsh chemicals, preservatives or dyes.
5. Examine your mouth every morning and night for changes.