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Chemo and the effect on the teeth

khl8
Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2009

So I have not really had dental problems in years, have a mouth full of fillings but no biggie. However i have begunto have tooth pain and went to the dentist and I need to have 3 root canals, and crowns and 3 other teeth need to be fixed as well ( not as extensive as the root canals) It seems my teeth and fillings are just wearing down. Anyone else experience dental issues after all the drugs? Or is this just in my head and would have happened anyway?
Kathy

ketziah35
Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

I do not have colon cancer. My mother does and being the good little overly analytical person that I am (smile) I asked my dentist and he referred back to the gum sores with no mention of tooth deterioration.

Hugs

Ktz

chicoturner's picture
chicoturner
Posts: 285
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Kathy, I have stage 4 colon cancer and have been on treatment off and on (mostly on) since4/08. I have had 2 root canals plus other work. My dentist said that chemo can and often does weaken teeth. Since I go to the dentist regularly and all was going well, he felt the problems were due to chemo. Make sure your dentist and onc are in sinc with treatments as you are at risk for infections. I've had no problem, but I do know that the 2 Docs have communicated. I had dental work done as far into the 2 weeks after treatment as possible. Hope you get it all taken care of as easy as I did. Jean

Jaylo969
Posts: 826
Joined: Jan 2010

I had just been for my 6 month dental checkup 1 week before colon surgery and all was well.A few treatments into the chemo I could tell that my teeth were going bad. My oncologist wouldn't let me have dental work "unless it was an emergency."

I finished chemo on May 11th and have so far had to have 5 crowns and 2 fillings with more needed but dental insurance has capped out for the year.My dentist told me that he has seen this happen many times with chemo patients.He *thinks* in my case since I had a lot of mouth sores/blisters that my gums were inflamed and swollen which caused the cement in the old crowns and fillings to crack and let in bacteria. Also, chemo causes dry mouth which harbors bacteria.I drank gallons of water and still do. Probably would have even worse teeth if I hadn't kept my mouth moist.

Is your onc in agreement with you having root canals?Good luck.

-Pat

walkingnutritionman
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2009

After 12 cycles of chemo, my wife had to have significant work done on many of her teeth because of the chemo. It was after this that she made some changes to her diet consistent with recommendations made by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., PhD in his excellent book "Anticancer--A New Way of Life": Besides keeping away from foods with added sugar, she included with each meal foods with significant anticancer activity, including blueberries or strawberries--both of which have xylitol which prevents dental decay by inhibiting bacterial growth. (Some studies suggest the benefits of xylitol may be as good as that of fluoride!) Now, 1 year later (after 10 more cycles of chemo as well as lung surgery), she is doing well and has had no major dental problems like she previously had.

khl8
Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2009

It appears that the chemo has done a number on my teeth. I am 11 months out from chemo and can get the work done. And I will! Have to keep my teeth!

ketziah35
Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

Ok I must admit itlooks as if I have misspoken. Does anyone know how to avoid this and what mouthwash and dental floss to use?

khl8
Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2009

I wish I knew how to avoid it!! for me the damage has been done. However I AM SUCH A BIG BABY when it comes to the dentist, so I found a dentist that does oral sedation and will put me out to do all the work!! Hallelujia!!!!!!!!!!

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

I was told to use Biotene mouthwash by someone on this board who was a dental hygienist. It is strictly for dry mouth, but dry mouth does cause tooth damage. I don't know if it is working or not because my onc says a big "NO" to dental work unless absolutely necessary. I just broke a tooth in half and even though there isn't any pain, the rough part is cutting my tongue all the time. I'm going for my chemo on Monday and asking the doctor if I can have this tooth fixed.

Debbie in Arkansas

Jaylo969
Posts: 826
Joined: Jan 2010

I would avoid any alcohol based mouthwashes because some chemos cause sores in the mouth/throat. OUCH!! I was also told NOT to use waxed dental floss...why I don't know...but I do know that floss made my gums bleed and become more sore so floss gently. I wonder if a waterpick might be better. Wish I had thought of that 9 months ago.

I don't know how to avoid the problem...I brushed at least 4-5 times day, drank copious amounts of water, rinsed with salt & baking soda solution and still had to have 5 crowns and some fillings immediately after chemo stopped.

-Pat

AnneCan
Posts: 3693
Joined: Oct 2009

My dentist wanted me to use a product called "M Paste" to help protect my teeth. I checked with my onc + she said it would be ok for me to use this. The dentist made trays for me + I am supposed to put the paste in the trays + put them on my teeth 2 X every day. At my recent dental appointment, the dentist showed me the shininess on my teeth which is protection provided by this paste. My onc had Okayed a "bloodless" teeth cleaning, but my dentist was afraid to do it until this last visit; he said my teeth are much better now so I have an appointment with the dental hygienist in Aug for a cleaning. I am in Canada, so I am not sure of the availability of this product in the US, but there is probably something similar. I also use Biotene toothpaste; I found regular toothpaste puts my mouth on fire, + my dentist wants me to use zylitol gum.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4534
Joined: Feb 2009

My gums are swollen on one side and when flossing get more blood on that side than the other. The dentist prescribed a mouthwash (not very good at using it because of forgetting) but yes, definitely getting teeth/gum problems. Hope it gets better for you because even though oncologists think that there isn't a link between teeth and chemo, they are telling you a mistruth.

Kim

coloCan
Posts: 1893
Joined: Oct 2009

there is a brief overview of the effect chemo and rad may have on the mouth,teeth,gums,etc...Might be of help......steve

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