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Dental check

jackflash22's picture
Posts: 512
Joined: Aug 2013

Had onc team dental check this week. the dentist didn,t like the scarring and deformed lip that I,m continuously biting. he,s getting a second opinion from his dental surgeon. The only thing he could do to help to stop the biting is to take the back teeth out. I,m not chewing or swallowing still (blockage in throat) but when I do I will need my teeth. I,m not sure what they can do as the radiation is still active, my teeth are still sensitive. Has anyone had successful dental treatment so soon after radiation treatment. I have been told you shouldn't have treatment but I don't know why. On the up side I'm feeling a lot like my old self and getting out more. It's difficult getting out and about because of the flooding we live near the river Thames and surrounded by floods.......two lives lost already.. One cyclist and one invalid carriage person got carried off the roads with the currents.If anyone is interested tune in to BBC news to see the extent of the floods.

hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

I was told no dental procedures until 6mos. post tx. And then, hyperbaric tx before. I did have to have an emergency root canal within the original 6 months, it went smoothly.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8297
Joined: Sep 2009

There is always a chance of complications on both invasive procedures, and even deep cleaning...

Mainly due from damage to the blood flow, especially on the lower jaw. and possibility of infections and lack of healing ability. A good dentist experienced with cancer patients should be able to determine if and what you can do...

They do use HBO as mentioned at times to help generate or force blood and oxygen to the sites..


ratface's picture
Posts: 1320
Joined: Aug 2009

Could you wear a guard until you heal a bit more? John is right. The lower jaw bone has more density and has absorbed more radiation which could have weakened it. Will the extractions be on the upper or lower.  There is a chance that it could fracture. There is a possibility of reduced blood flow to the area. The area or pocket of extraction has been known to not heal over and close. HBO can be helpful and as I remember the ratio is 20 dives before and 10 after. I had an extraction on my number 19  which is a bottom molar on the left side at appx 6 months with zero complications without HBO. Healing went well. My main radiation was to the right of the midline. Your rad/ ONCO doc will know exactly where the rad fields were concentrated. I found that the dental profession is very timid about extractions post radiation. My dentist tried to extract the tooth with a spring mounted on the adjacent tooth which he would tension every couple of weeks. It was a huge PITA which in the end did not work properly and he finally just extracted the old fashioned way. I would be leary of extracting healthy teeth to alleviate biting as a bit more time of healing will help. I bit myself quite a bit soon after radiation but it has almost stopped now.

MarineE5's picture
Posts: 926
Joined: Dec 2005


I would hold off for a spell if you can on having any teeth removed. As time goes by, the accidental biting of your lip may stop. I know that after my radiation treatments ended, I was biting the inside of my cheeks, tongue, and lip by accident and caused me pain when I did it. After some of the side effects that we receive from Radiation, I feel that jaw muscule weakness could be included. Now that I am out from treatments longer, I accidentally bite my tongue no more then when I did before cancer. I think that my jaw muscules have returned to normal.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8297
Joined: Sep 2009

I totally agree with both above... I wouldn't opt for any healthy teeth being removed before you have to... Lord knows that most of us more than likely are going to have more dental problems down the road than people that haven't been blasted with radiation..

I too went through a period of time where the insides of my cheeks seemed puffed or swollen enough that I would bite them a lot...

That has been gone for many years, mainly only lasting the first year or less...

As mentioned here many times, the first year or two post treatment is very slow, filled with tons of things never expereinced before... Aches, pains, sore spots, swelling, etc....

It's always good to stay on top of things, and have them checked out, but it's going to happen...


Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

I agree that something should be done to limit anymore damage until you can effectively have dental work done.  I am under the assumption that you maybe could get a mouth gaurd to use.  One that is fitted for comfort.  I think it's the nature of the beast after surgeries and tx's to fiddle with our jaw line and tongue without even thinking about it.    Please take the above advice, and have a serious talk with your onc's.  Best of luck, and let us know what you decide.  Hugs sent !  Katie 

Posts: 14
Joined: Sep 2012

You need to get ALL your doctors involved . I don't know what kind of relation you had or where , but I have BOT SCC , had 35 treatments of rads, and devolved dental problems , which lead to osteoradionecrosis for the last two years , had 40 HBO's , and the whole treatment of dealing with ORN . I am looking at a full jaw replacement because of  having dentalprocedures done , so take it slow , get a lot of advise , hope everything works out for you.

Roar's picture
Posts: 265
Joined: Mar 2013

It's been just over a year out of treatment for me and I have not been to the dentist yet. And I was telling her that I need to make a dental appointment but want to make it with a dentist who is familiar with my problem. And the problem is my mouth is always dry and I feel like my teeth are suffering. I have this thick saliver all the time in my mouth all the time and at night bone dry- I don't use the dental trays but don't want to lose my teeth either.i am worried they are deteriorating under the gumbs

KB56's picture
Posts: 312
Joined: Apr 2013

Roar, I know that you know this but you REALLY need to make that dental appointment and get checked out.  if you do have problems it will only get worse.   Hopefully there are dentist in your area that are familiar with radiation and all the negative side effects with the teeth but at least you could get a good cleaning and checkout and if you do have issues that need to be addressed you could be referred to a specialist.


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