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Chemo and dental problems??

Posts: 50
Joined: May 2003

This is a new one on me but Chris's dentist told him that chemo can have adverse effects on patients teeth. Sure enough Chris is going through a terrible time with his teeth right now; he's had a root canal and a very painful abscess in the last month.
Has anyone heard of a connection before? He had 5FU/Leucovorin/Oxiplatin. Thanks and best wishes!

Posts: 33
Joined: May 2004

there are good and bad bacteria in the mouth and the chemo makes it difficult for the body to keep things in balance (letting bad bacteria overgrow, leading to problems, etc). my husband's dentist has been cleaning his teeth every couple of months and has him rinsing nightly with a prescription strength flouride treatment - the oncologist has okayed this.

Posts: 33
Joined: May 2004

Ways to Keep Your Mouth, Gums, and Throat Healthy:
See your dentist before you start chemotherapy to have your teeth cleaned and to take care of any cavities, abscesses, gum disease, or poorly fitting dentures.
Ask your dentist to show you the best ways to brush and floss your teeth during chemotherapy.
Ask about a daily fluoride rinse or gel to help prevent decay because chemotherapy can make you more likely to get cavities.
Brush your teeth and gums after every meal. Use an extra soft toothbrush and a gentle touch. Brushing too hard can damage soft mouth tissues.
Ask your dentist to suggest a special type of toothbrush, floss or dental ribbon, and toothpaste if your gums are very sensitive.
Rinse your toothbrush well after each use and store it in a dry place.
Avoid commercial mouthwashes because they often contain large amounts of irritating salt or alcohol. Instead, ask your doctor or nurse about a mild mouthwash or a mouthwash with antibiotics to help prevent mouth infections.
If you develop sores in your mouth (stomatitis), contact your doctor or nurse because you may need medical treatment.

ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Chriss, I had several abcesses during chemo (I had 48 weekly sessions) lowered immune system allowed barely controlled infections to "go off". Seven years later I am still having problems,I have had two abcesses blow up this weekand have to get some anti biots before I go to the dentist. I am 54 and still have all my own teeth and have always looked after them. I have also had problems with ulceration of the duodeam ,stomach,pancreatitis loss of my gallbladder all of which seems to be the price of surviving past my used by date ,small price I guess,Cheers Ron.

Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2004

I'm only a few months into chemo (5FU / Leucovorin / Campostar / Avastin), but I had some immediate mouth problems and found that switching to non alcoholic mouthwash (Tom's natural w/ baking soda & aloe vera) and using an organic aloe vera toothpaste reduced the issues. My father who's a hospital pharmacist and worked in oncology centers for awhile recommended them, the aloe vera components are supposed to have some soothing and healing properties. Might be worth a shot.

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