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Chemo & Teeth Problems

Posts: 107
Joined: Feb 2007

I've just finished my 3rd chemo treatment (R-Chop) for B-Cell Lymphoma.

I had a filling fall out on my tooth (no pain) a few days ago and went to the dentist with onocologist's ok. It was on a baby tooth that was just hanging on and I will need it pulled. I got a "consultation" appointment with the oral surgeon Monday, July 9th.

My question is will this delay up my 4th chemo treatment. I have a CT later this month to see how the chemo is doing and I don't want to delay anything.

Has anyone else had teeth problems during chemo and what was done about it?
Thanks for your input!

diazr1's picture
Posts: 101
Joined: Mar 2012

It always made my wisdom teeth grow each time but never could do te surgery till this year

allmost60's picture
Posts: 3184
Joined: Jul 2010

I did not need any dental care before, during or after chemo, but I do know there are precautions involved before getting any dental work done while in the process of receiving treatments. If memory serves me right...blood counts must be good and stable. I read that most oral surgeons will want to see a current lab report before doing any work. When you go in for your consult with the oral surgeon you will find out most of the information to answer your questions. Blood counts usually determine delays in chemo..(someone correct me if I'm wrong). If it is a baby tooth to be extracted, then I would think the root system is shallow making things easier. Bleeding and infection are the two things where precaution is most needed. Share with your oncologist the information the oral surgeon gives you and let him/her decide whats best. Let us know what you decide to do and how it goes.
Best wishes...Sue (FNHL-2-3A-6/10)

vinny59's picture
Posts: 1032
Joined: Nov 2006

I know that Sue is right, it's all about your immune system. Just make sure you continue to get your oncologists input..... Vinny

Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2011

I had Hodgkins Lymphoma Stage llA, and recieved ABVD and radiation, two years ago. I dont know which one caused it but all my teeth are decaying and my dentist says they have to be extracted, he said he might sould save 4 with root canals, he gave me estimate of 8000. dollars for this.
My insurance pays 1000 a year, no way can I afford to have them pulled so I am just letting them fall out one at a time. This has been such a shock to me, noone EVER mentioned it would effect my teeth, I feel like I was so mislead. When I confronted the oncologist, he wanted to know what difference it would have made, had I known. I don't know the answer to that but it sure would have created a lot more confidence in him. I hate losing my teeth, I got a lot of dental work done before starting cancer treatments so I would not have to deal with those issues, now it was all for nothing. Am I angry, yes I am, they told me about losing my hair, which I expected, it has come back but I was at least prepared. Noone prepared me for this, it just makes me wonder what else didnt they tell me. The muscle weakness and SOB is getting worse all the time, they just say exercise. Kinda hard when you can't motivate, from the neuropathy. AM I going to end up in a wheelchair, is that something else they didnt bother to tell me. I hate cancer and I hate not being told the truth. The sad part is you dont find out these things until you have experience the side effects of the treatment. I hope your experience will be better, but yes it does effect your teeth.

Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2012

Now, I am scared about my teeth, that's like my biggest fear as I have invested so much time and money to keep them healthy. I had 4 treatments so far and only had mouth sores. I do not see any differences in my teeth except that some tend to bleed if I floss, so I have been avoiding flossing as much as I can. I really hope I won't loose any teeth in the future. Any preventative suggestions?

I also feel that way about fertility. No one told me that there is a high chance for me not to be able to have kids in the future. I am 29 and did not have any yet ;-( I am really praying that god will bless me with children one day.

PS - does anyone know how to privately message or use the chat?


Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3646
Joined: May 2012


There are about a dozen or so "fairly common" chemo side-effects, and some rarer ones that only a few drugs can cause. Mouth sores are one of this dozen or so, but it is pretty hit-or-miss whether you will have that problem, or something different, or no real problems at all. Tooth damage is rather uncommon, but dang unpleasant when you are the one with it.

I hate to see a kid like you having to deal with this torture known as cancer and chemotherapy.

The "c" drug in chop can cause sterility, either temporary or not temporary. Most side effects from any chemo drug are temporary (like hair loss, for instance). I would not assume fertility issues at this point.

Avoiding pregnancy during treatment is very important, however. Two of your other drugs are dangerous for a fetus.

I recommend a great site for reading about chemo drugs. No new age speculation, no witch-doctor nonesense.


Then, go to "Chemotherapy Drugs." It gives a very detailed description of each FDA approved drug. It also has an "Acronym List", so you can go through the combination drugs like Chop, RICE, EPOCH, abvd, etc.

Hang in there ! Do not assume the worst regarding fertility after treatment.


Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you Max. I can deal with mouth sours but hopefully I wont have to face the challenges with my teeth as well.

As far as fertility, you are right. I should not even concentrate on that for now. After all, not everyone was meant to have children and may be god has something else planned for me.

Thank you for all your help, it's so much easier to talk to cancer patients. They are the only ones who seem to understand...

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3646
Joined: May 2012


I am not suggesting that you forget fertility. Just leave it for another day. There are more pressing matters at the moment in your life.

May you be blessed.


scuttlebug11's picture
Posts: 175
Joined: Jun 2011

i just had six teeth extracted a couple of days from tooth decay because of chemo i had cloce to a dozen test taken before they start the the teeth failed it was either have them pulled or not to have the transplant blessings denise

allmost60's picture
Posts: 3184
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Denise,
Sorry about the teeth problems. Maybe down the road you can get a partial to replace the extracted teeth. Last week I had my first problem with my teeth...a filling fell out and will be replaced on Tuesday, but my dentist said he see's others problems we will have to deal with after I'm done with my Rituxan infusions. UGH! You take care and stay healthy until the transplant. Much love...Sue

anliperez915's picture
Posts: 772
Joined: Sep 2011

Really sorry Denise that you are having teeth problems, wish you didn't have to go through it. Once you are done with all of this you can get your teeth fixed. Take care and sending positive thoughts your way. (((Hugs)))


Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2017

so flu started with the oncology professional telling that my severe dental loss is not due to chemo. My long time dentist even wrote a letter stating my teeth were in good shape prior and this terrible situation I now deal with is due to the chemo (I only have 6 teeth left and no bottom bone for a denture to work).  I feel like I'm in the dark ages when medical companies would do mastectomys but no reconstruction. Feel strongly the American Cancer society should be helping us out.

po18guy's picture
Posts: 1183
Joined: Nov 2011

If I were you, I would search out a foundation associated with the speicifc type of cancer you had.

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