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Dental surgery while undergoing chemotherapy....isn't it a little dangerous??

motherof6blessedchildren's picture
motherof6blesse...
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2012

After my first chemo on Sept. 6th, by the following tuesday, Sept. 11th; I was experiencing an extreme pain with my back tooth. Long story short, landed in ER, went to the dentist, who sent me to an oral surgeon. Yesterday, Sept. 25, 2nd chemo; oncologists says yes, get the dental work done and now; today, Sept. 26th, the oral surgeon wants to take them all; and i'm stuck...darned if I do, darned if I don't...They can't put me on antiobiotics for the whole time during chemo and I have to get them out but scared. I've already went thru hair loss which I didn't think Id have to do after my double lumpectomy but they found it in my lymphnodes and instead of going straight to radiation, i have to undergo 8 chemo treatments every other week. My question is basically asking anyone if they have ever had to undergo this during chemo and what the end results were??

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

I was fortunate to not have to take chemo. I had a lumpectomy with rads. So, I don't know the answer to your question. I am very sorry that you have to even have this done, let alone not know if it is really alright to do it. I've read on here where some survivors are supposed to see their dentist before chemo and right after, but, I don't know if I've read where anyone has seen one during. I am sure someone that had chemo will post and tell you their experience. Good luck!

Hugs, Leeza

mom62
Posts: 600
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi,

I had my teeth cleaned two days after I finished chemo because as you already know you are not suppose to have dental work done during treatment. I thought I was okay because I was done treatment. I was wrong big time. I got an infection where my surgical scar was and ended up having four more surgeries and many complications because of the infection. I now always have to pre medicate with antibiotics before I go to the dentist. Any work done on the mouth stirs up bacteria which can cause infection. This was just my experience. You are having surgery so I don't know if that is different, but I wouldn't expect so. Can you just get the one taken out for now and get the other three done later? I would think that would reduce risk of infection. Just my opinion.

Best of Luck
Keep us posted
Terry

joannstar
Posts: 346
Joined: Nov 2010

also. After my first I had an infection and had to be on antibiotics (actually 2 times during my six chemo treatments). I can't remember much about it now--must be blocking since it was only 2 years ago. I think that I had a to have a root removed from one of my teeth that continues to bother me when I do any serious chewing. I do remember my MO saying to get the dental work done asap and not to wait until after chemo.
Good luck,
JoAnn

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

I also thought no dental work during chemo because you might get an infection which could be very serious.

Good luck!

RozHopkins
Posts: 444
Joined: Dec 2010

I was under the impression absolutely no dental work while taking chemo due to very high risk of infection. Also no yard work or picking up pet droppings you are really prone to infection at this time. Even a small cut must be watched. You are told to have dental work done before or after chemo. I too had awful pain in a tooth and had it dealt as emergency sooooo painful, had root canal. I was lucky this cropped up just after my treatment but I think the chemo caused it. Now have super sensitive teeth. The only answer is strong pain killers, the first lot I was given didn't touch pain second lot did. Please double check before seeing dentist I am sure the above is the rule.

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

What did you decide to do? To have the dental surgery or not? I also thought that you weren't supposed to have any during chemo, but since I didn't have chemo, this question never came up for me.

Hugs, Lex

rachelle6
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2012

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Heatherbelle's picture
Heatherbelle
Posts: 1218
Joined: Jun 2010

I also experienced tooth pain during chemo, it was right after my 1st one, and i had to have a root canal and an extraction. My dentist recommended it, then i saw my oncologist to find out his recommendation. My oncologist advised me to go ahead and have the dental work done, because having a bad tooth IN my mouth posed a higher infection risk. Not everyone's situation is the same, and something that may not be recommended for one person might be ok for another. Talk to your oncologist, and see what they say about it. We all have different and unique situations, and treatment is not a "one size fits all" for every breast cancer patient.
im sorry youre going through that, all you have to go through with chemo and now this :(
*hugs*
heather

kacee999
Posts: 109
Joined: Oct 2012

...that an oncologist would give the green flag for oral surgery DURING chemo. Every session I had, and I mean EVERY, my white blood cell count would hit ZERO (I am not exaggerating...the MO was amazed) for at least 4 days. I don't understand why you are not on antibiotics. I was on Levoquin each session right at the time the WBC plummeted. Even THEN I ran fevers for several days and wound up at the ER after my 4th session with a 102 fever.

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

I am surprised too, but, like someone wrote, I guess it is better than having an infection for sure from a bad tooth.

Leeza

Heatherbelle's picture
Heatherbelle
Posts: 1218
Joined: Jun 2010

like i said, not everyone has the same effects and complications from chemo. My white count never got to zero. Dental infections can get pretty nasty pretty fast, and im sure her oncologist is taking her bloodwork results into consideration in recommending the dental work.

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

Did you have the dental work done? Everything ok?

Lex

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3914
Joined: Oct 2009

Any surgery can have complications, but a tooth abscess can be extremely dangerous too. Be aware that infection from a tooth, in rare instances, can even travel to the brain. Dental infections have even been associated with heart attacks and premature labor. I think you should listen to your physicians!

Good dental hygiene (seeing the dental hygienist every 6 months) is so important for cancer patients. Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. I also use a mouthwash twice a day.

As far as I am aware, bisphosphonates (xgeva, zometa, boniva, fosamax, etc) are the drugs which can be contraindicated with some types of oral surgery (dental implants especially). My dentist said a filling or root canal is ok. Personally, I would have an endodontist do the root canal, because I had a very bad experience with a dentist doing a root canal on the wrong tooth (long story).

I am so sorry that you are having to deal with both chemo and tooth pain! I think tooth pain is the worst, because of the pain and pressure in that small tooth :-(. I hope you are feeling better soon. Please let us know!

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3914
Joined: Oct 2009

P.S. I would also see another dentist before proceeding. Unfortunately, lately, I have heard many horror stories of dentists recommending work that does not need to be done. Recently, my daughter's friend went to a dentist that said she had 14 cavities and needed two root canals. She believed him because she had not seen a dentist in years (she was in school without coverage).

I sent her to a reputable dentist and it turns out that she had three cavities and needed one root canal. Watch out for overzealous dentists! My brother, an attorney, has a nightmarish tale about one who replaced old fillings that did not need to be replaced.

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

I agree with both Heather and CC...I developed an abscess between my 3rd and 4th rounds of chemo. The abcess was more dangerous to my health than the extraction. So in my case, I chose to remove the tooth which allowed the abscess to drain. My oncologist and dentist worked together. They shared information about blood tests, to make sure my platelets and WBC were strong enough for the extraction. They also followed up together on my recovery. Recovery did take longer because of the chemo, but I got there.

One more thought...you may want to ask your onc about neupogin or neulasta to bring up your WBC before any dental work.

Good luck with this.

Hugs,

Linda

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