Proper Oral Care During Cancer Treatment

Proper Care Before, During and After Cancer Treatment

Good dental hygiene may help prevent or reduce complications. It is important to keep a close watch on your oral health during cancer treatment. Keeping the mouth, teeth and gums clean during and after cancer treatment may help decrease complications such as mouth sores and infections.

Follow these steps to maintain a healthy mouth during treatment:

For the best possible outcome, consult with your dentist one month prior to cancer treatment. Your dentist will be able to identify and treat problems that can contribute to complications during cancer therapy. This visit will also establish baseline data for follow-up examinations.
Optimal oral hygiene is imperative during your cancer treatment. You will also want to do your best to maintain adequate nutrition.Recommended oral hygiene routine during this time includes:

  • Clean your mouth every 4 hours and at bed time. More often if mucositis becomes worse.
  • Brush with a very soft (pediatric) toothbrush. Replace it often.
  • Use a gentle, fluoride toothpaste like The Natural Dentist All In One Anticavity Toothpaste
  • Floss regularly, avoiding any areas that bleed or are sore
  • Rinse often with a soothing, germ-killing mouth rinse with no alcohol or harsh chemicals, preservatives or dyes like The Natural Dentist Healthy Gums Antigingivitis Rinse.
  • Talk to your dentist about any special treatments you may need
  • Stay away from sharp, crunchy foods, like taco chips, that could scrape or cut your mouth
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco
  • Examine your mouth every day for sores or other changes
Once all complications from chemotherapy have resolved, you may be able to resume your normal dental exam schedule. However, if your immune system continues to be compromised, your dentist may request blood work before initiating any dental treatment or surgery.For more information, please read the NIH guide to oral care during cancer treatment.

What the medical professionals are saying . . .

“All my patients use The Natural Dentist Healthy Gums Mouth Rinse and I have seen it be effective reducing and preventing mouth sores and bleeding gums associated with chemotherapy and radiation.”
Dr. Susan Calderbank, DMD.  Practicing dentist, Assistant Professor University of Pittsburgh, and expert on oral care for cancer patients