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Dental problems after treatments?

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2788
Joined: Jun 2010

I have an absess and will see an endodontist Wednesday. It's a tooth that I had 6 root canals on about 11 years ago - or so the dentist says. Actually he says the infection is the same tooth, yet the xrays look perfectly normal. He says I'll likely lose the tooth and am looking at either a bridge or implant. Swell. Something else falling apart. Anyone know anything about dental issues after cancer treatments? I blame everything on chemotherapy.


New Flower
Posts: 4299
Joined: Aug 2009

too, however my abscess was developed or re-activated several months after Chemo and I blame anti-estrogen therapy. It was calm for 20 years and became active 5 months ago. I was able to save my tooth by having endodontic surgery in April. I had a crown, canal were opened through crown and treated gain. I was on antibiotics for 5 days. I will have follow-up in October. I feel much better now. Extraction is an easy way out, See if you can find doctor who can treat it.
Good luck

Posts: 242
Joined: Apr 2010

Yes, I too had dental problems. Mine were during treatment. I have several absess during treatment. They were treated with antibiotics but the last time it had to be pulled. The dentist really tried to save it but it had several root canals. He opened it and tried to re-do but it was to deep. It didn't show on Xray either. Now I'm makig payments on a bridge. Insurance wouldn't cover it either. Hang in there it will get better. I'm a year out now and I haven't had any problems.


robang13's picture
Posts: 333
Joined: Apr 2011

Oh Suzanne, I am so glad you asked this!! I thought I was the only one!! During rads some of my teeth actually started to chip. Now 3 weeks out of rads and on tamoxifen and I have a lump on my gum. Went to the dentist and he said infection from a failed root canal. Out of nowhere!! I am on antibiotics now to hopefully calm it down. I have no pain yet but am worried about losing the tooth too. Implants are so expensive that it's not even a thought for me. Don't you just feel like you are falling apart bit by bit?! I didn't even have chemo and I'm a mess!!


Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2010

I had no problems at all before chemo. Now after cancer treatments all kinds of issues. Chipped and cracked teeth. Discoloration on teeth due to the enamel chipping away. I had 2 back teeth pulled, no way to save them.

Doc told me the chemo had shrunk the blood vessels, and cut off the nutrition my teeth needed to stay healthy. He said it was like when a diabetic has dental issues.

skipper54's picture
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2011

gel to use twice a day during and after treatments to help keep the acidity down etc. I knew my dad had issues so was pretty pro-active. The onc also said lots of cold drinks or ice or similar things right after treatment to help keep drugs from "zeroing in" on that hot spot in my body. So far so good.

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

My abscess was between treatment 3 and 4. Like yours, it was tooth that had already had a crown and a root canal, and x-rays were normal. The dentist tried draining the abscess, but it didn't really go away and I said just pull the tooth. It's further back and you can't see that it's missing, so I haven't looked into implants or bridges.

I blame everything on chemo too. Hope you feel better soon!



Posts: 117
Joined: Mar 2011

I am sorry to hear that you have an abses. They can be very painful. My dentist always recommends rinsing with warm salt water to releive some of the pain.I hope you are feeling better soon.



CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

I have been somewhat OCD about dental hygiene since starting the zometa and arimidex in 2009.

I never miss my 6 month dental hygiene cleaning either now. So far, so good. I just went last month and was given a clean dental bill of health. Here is what I do: floss at least once a day, brush AND use mouthwash at least 2 X day and see the dental hygienist every 6 months for cleaning.

Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Suzanne:
Just before being diagnosed I saw the dentist, everything ok. 3 months into chemo I bit into a piece of bread and broke off my front tooth almost along the gum line (it had a crown. The dentist refused to work on me, since I had another 3 months of chemo to go. I have an upper partial and he temporarily attached a tooth to that. For a permanent fix he put crowns over the teeth on either side of the broken tooth, bonded an artificial tooth to the crowns and then re-worked the partial with a new "space age" material. $4600 later I look pretty good, but it is by no means as comfortable as natural teeth. If I'd be any younger I'd have chosen implants. Hope this helps a little.
Yes, chemo sucks!
Hugs, Marlene

Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

Had more dental problems since chemo than ever before....I had to have 3 extractions 1 month ago.. 3 weeks before I was told my cancer has returned....two were back teeth and one is on the side almost in the back....the oral surgeon explained how hard chemo is on our teeth....blah blah blah.....so now that I am on chemo again, any dental work is out off the question.....

creampuff91344's picture
Posts: 989
Joined: Nov 2008

Dental issues seem to be very common with chemo and radiation treatment. About half way through chemo I started having problems with teeth sensitivity. I spoke to the onc about this each and every visit, but he offered no solution. The last day of chemo, I scheduled an appointment to have my teeth cleaned the next day. After many x-rays, all crowns replaced in my mouth, deep cleaning , etc, it was determined that my pain was not caused by my teeth. So off to a neurologist. He found no problems, but sent me to a neurosurgeon. He did a deep MRI of the Meckal Cave (the sinus area of the face), and finlly told me the pain was from damage of the nerves in the general area of the teeth during chemo. There is no treatment, just pain meds to help with the pain. They wanted to kill the nerve in the left side of my face, which, of course, would eliminate the pain, but would cause that side of my face to "droop", kind of like Bells Palsey. Vanity keeps me from doing this, so guess I will be dependent on pain meds the rest of my life. (They also said that killing the nerves wouldn't completely solve the problem. Nerves have a tendancy to try to reconnect, and if that happened, the pain may come back worse than it is now.) Just another issue we cancer patients have to deal with. So sorry for your problems, but hope they can find relief for you soon. Hugs, Judy

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