Effects of Chemo and Radiation on Oral Health
If you or someone you know is living with colon cancer, and are receiving treatment in the form of chemotherapy or radiation, then you are aware or perhaps experiencing for yourself many of the unpleasant side effects that come along with it, including fatigue, hair loss, and nausea.
One area that can get overlooked is how chemo and radiation affect your mouth. Oral complications can compromise your health, and one third of people being treated for cancer will experience some form of them.
Common oral side effects include mouth sores, dry mouth, bleeding gums, and infection. And if you or a loved one are experiencing any of these, you’ll find it difficult to chew, swallow, and even speak. However, there are ways to maintain a healthy mouth during treatment:
- Clean your mouth every four hours and before you go to bed. If you have a lot of mouth sores, you may wish to do this more frequently.
- Brush with a very soft pediatric toothbrush, and replace it often.
- Use a gentle, fluoride toothpaste.
- Rinse as often as possible with a soothing mouth rinse that doesn’t contain alcohol, harsh chemicals, preservatives, or dyes.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco products.
- Avoid crunchy and spicy foods, as well as citrusy drinks like orange juice.
- Don’t eat or drink food or beverages that are hot and can potentially burn your mouth.
- Examine your mouth every morning and night for changes.
If possible, visit your dentist at least two weeks prior to beginning treatment, and get any necessary dental work done at that time. Even if you don’t need any dental work done, it’s still a good idea to arrange a consultation with your dentist to identify and treat problems that can contribute to complications during treatment.
For more information about the way chemotherapy and radiation affect your oral health and to learn how The Natural Dentist Mouth Rinse can help, visit http://rinseforrelief.com/.
By Kelly Kaplan, RinseforRelief.com
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- Colon cancer research is still vastly under-funded