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chemo and teeth

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1107
Joined: May 2012

Hey all, did chemo do a job on anyone else's teeth? Just had two extracted. Ow! Now dentist says possibly two more.  I don't want to do the next two it hurts so much. 

jen2012
Posts: 1492
Joined: Aug 2012

It was kind of weird...I've always had better teeth than my husband and last time I went to dentist I had several cavities and needed one pulled.  I told our dentist that I was sure my husband would need a lot of work since he was on chemo and also had been constantly chomping on jolly ranchers after his hospital stay.  he didn't have one cavity...go figure.

 

sorry you are having so many teeth issues.  Are you asleep when they pull them?  If not you should at least be really numbed up...you shouldn't feel anything and after you should have pain meds, or take 3 or 4 Advil.

 

 

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1107
Joined: May 2012

No, I decided to stay awake because I don't like the idea of going under anesthesia so much and I still have port removal coming up.  The extracting itself was easy peasy, didn't feel much but the pain once it wore off was crazy.  Day 7 and it still hurts.  Went this morning, the dentist said it looks okay, just keep taking the antibiotics and we'll take out the stitches in 7 days.

Sandi1's picture
Sandi1
Posts: 277
Joined: Aug 2008

Yes, my husband had and still is having all sorts of teeth issues.  Gums are tender, teeth are breaking, caps are falling off. and the teeth that he had that were in good condition before chemo are now falling apart. He has to be very careful what he eats, because anything hard like popcorn will break his teeth.

So, yeah, i think its normal.

Sandi

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1085
Joined: Oct 2010

Might be worthwhile tracking things like calcium, vitamin D levels in the blood.   Long sessions on disintegration, tooth loss and chemo have been on the boards before.  Good salivation is important.  My wife hasn't had teeth problems but she gets large amounts of vitamin D3, K2 and magnesium - conventional bone building items, as well as glucosamine and vitamin C for cartilage which is also part of bone formation.   On chemo, it takes her over 12,000 iu per day of vit D3 to be sufficient.  A blood level of 30-32 ng/mL (75-80 nmol/L) is vit D3 sufficient according to independent endocrinology associations in the US and Canada.

She spent more money on dentistry over the years before she got cancer, when she was probably low on vitamin D, etc.  Not so much now, she had her mercury amalgams carefully replaced 2.4 years ago by her regular dentist.  

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1107
Joined: May 2012

I am going to make an appt. with my GP for those.  Good reminder because I haven't properly followed through on that. 

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1085
Joined: Oct 2010

She spent more money on dentistry over the years before she got cancer, when she was probably low on vitamin D, etc.

...and excessive with sugar and starch, like pastries.  Which I think was contributory to overweight and colon cancer, too.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2208
Joined: Jan 2013

because I haven't been back to the dentist since I finished treatment. 

I HATE THE DENTIST!

I know I should go, maybe next month .

I'm sorry you are having teeth extracted. I hope you're done with it and there will be no more. 

Yolllmbs's picture
Yolllmbs
Posts: 356
Joined: May 2014

I have had a toothache for a few days. While going to the dentist isn't my idea of fun, it sure is great getting that pain removed!  My onc team told me to do dental work before and after and not during chemo. I'm not sure the reasoning. I just got out of the dentist chair with a filling replaced!!  My headache is gone. I love my dentist today! I do have the dryness on my tongue.  He told me to chew gum with xylitol. 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2208
Joined: Jan 2013

Yolanda, be sure to start swishing with a baking soda, salt mixed with warm water. That will help to keep the mouth sores at bay (or should). It worked like a dream for me. 

If you start doing it before the sores appear, you may never get them. 

And I'm glad you got your toothache fixed. It is miserable to be in pain. 

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1107
Joined: May 2012

Teeth are directly related to several parts of your body including the digestive system (you make some kind of digestive enzymes when you chew).  If you get dental work during chemo and have issues with infection, it opens up all kinds of problems when your immune system is down=)  I also did the dental work after which unfortunately for me is now.  Can't wait for time to move forward. 

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1395
Joined: Nov 2001

During chemo I was constantly at the dentist. Every tooth that had the smallest infection turned into an abcess. I had at least 6 root fillings done when I was on 5fu, another three whijst I was on methotrexate. And now that I am on cyclosporin my gums are growing and my nephrologist advised me that if it gets too bad they may have to be surgically trimmed back.Ouch... ron.

traci43's picture
traci43
Posts: 539
Joined: Jul 2007

Helen - I didn't have any problems but my two go rounds with FOLFOX (2007 & 2009) I used flouride in trays a few times a week.  My dentist suggested it as chemo can be hard on teeth.  I've since done XELIRI (2010, 2012, 2014) and not used flouride and no problems.  Hope your teeth feel better!  Traci

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1107
Joined: May 2012

Oh man, I wish they had suggested that to me!  I would have tried it. 

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1012
Joined: Jun 2013

...two ways. Chemo and many more medications cause dry mouth. With less saliva you are more likely to have gum disease, bone loss, failing of the existing dental work and cavities. Chemo suppresses the immune system that causes gum disease too. The teeth are also nurtured from the inside from the pulp. Stress and lack of nutrients can lead to cavities.

keeping yourself hydrated, fluoride trays, vitamins, minerals, exrtra brushing and flossing will help. You can't have your teeth cleaned during or a month or two after chemo, but stay on top of that.

Laz

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1107
Joined: May 2012

Thanks Laz!  My dentist keeps talking about bone loss.  He wants to do implants so we'll see how it goes and how things heal now that they're out.  I haven't been doing the extra brushing and flossing but I'm going to add that in to my daily routine.

fatbob2010's picture
fatbob2010
Posts: 466
Joined: May 2012

I have even had trouble finding a dentist that is really interested in looking at my teeth until after chemo.

Yes my teeth have taken a beating as well.

Regards,

Art

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1107
Joined: May 2012

Wow, so glad I've had the same dentist for years.  He is very caring and he was a bit worried but at the same time, willing to do the work.

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