Oral Hygiene Before, During and After Chemotherapy

While discussing the after effects or side effects of chemotherapy during cancer, hair loss and nausea are what comes to our minds most often. But there is more to it and therefore it is worth knowing that other than the above two there are many other side effects to chemotherapy. It can cause and result in the problems in the mouth like, mouth sores, infections, dry mouth, bleeding in the lining of the mouth and gums etc.

During chemotherapy eating and swallowing food may also become difficult for the patient, which can cause nutritional deficiencies also. Also, foods may taste different because the functioning of tongue and taste buds may have got affected due to high doses of medication.

Since chemotherapy is a treatment that kills cancer cells, during the treatment lot of healthy cells also get damaged and as a result the immune system weakens. And at such times one tries very hard to keep away from infections.

It is very difficult to fight infection during chemotherapy because the immune system is not as so strong. Infections of slightly advanced or serious nature can result into treatment delays and the drug dosages may also have to be lowered which is very likely to affect the healing and repair process to a great extent.

Preventing oral after effects of chemotherapy should begin before the treatment begins. Your doctor may ask you or recommend a dentist to you who specialize in taking care of patients under similar circumstances. Such dentists will advice one or more of the following; a thorough examination of mouth, gums and teeth. Dental x-rays.

Fixing cavities if found, tips on taking care of your gums and teeth during and after the treatment. Cleaning of teeth by removal of plaque etc.

During the treatment some common dental advises could be to brush your teeth twice thoroughly.

Chew gums to avoid or minimize dryness in the mouth, drink water after ice cream and candies and avoid eating stuff with sharp edges like chips, which can scratch mouth and lead to even slight bleeding.

If some of these problems occur they may go away simple medication but if they reach the advanced stage and not brought to the doctor’s notice while they start to show can lead to serious problems.

If someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer and is checking out options to undergo treatment it is worth noting the above outcomes, which can become hurdles while the healing process in on.

Since the immune system is weakened during the treatment it becomes all the more important to focus on prevention. Curing can bring more problems. Curing means additional medication and these additional medicines can come in the way of chemo.

Therefore it is very important that all aspects big or small be considered. Because every problem  however or big or small it may be, will give rise to complication and more medication.

Which should be avoided at all costs. So if during and after chemo if the patient protects himself from infections of any kind it’s the shortest and most simplified route to re-gaining fitness.

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