It is important to understand the different types of oral complications associated if an oral condition is not being treated prior to cancer procedural treatments.
San Clemente, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/20/2014 -- Pre-existing and untreated oral disease can cause complications to people diagnosed with cancer. This is a fact and should never be ignored by both cancer patients and medical practitioners alike.
Oral problems from emission to the head and neck or chemotherapy for any tumor can compromise patients’ well-being and quality of life, and impinge on their ability to complete the entire planned cancer treatment. The unbearable complications can eventually lead to lower doses of therapy, put off scheduled treatments, or totally cease the treatment. Severe systemic infections can be a result of untreated oral complications. Thus is the serious need to ensure that a cancer patient has good oral condition before, during, and after cancer treatment.
It is important to understand the different types of oral complications associated if an oral condition is not being treated prior to cancer procedural treatments. The following are the oral complications common to radiation and chemotherapy:
1. Infection. The infection can either be bacterial, viral, or fungal and it results from xerostomia, myelosuppression, and / or a dent to the mucosa from radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
2. Functional Disabilities which can result to the inability to eat, taste, swallow, and speak due to mucositis, dry mouth, infection, and trismus.
3. Oral Mucosists which is a swelling and ulceration of the mucous membranes. This can augment the risk of pain, oral, and systemic infection. This can compromise nutritional health as well.
4. Salivary Gland Dysfunction or Xerostomia which is the dryness of the mouth caused by the thickened, lessened, or absence of salivary flow. This condition boosts the risk of infection and impairs swalling, speaking, and chewing. Dental caries can be a result of persistent dry mouth that would result from chemotherapy.
5. Changes in taste perception of food (tasteless of unpleasant).
6. Poor nutrition as a result of mucositits, dry mouth, loss of taste, and dyshagia that results from difficulties in eating.
7. Oral bleeding as a result of decreased platelets and clotting factors as a result of bone marrow therapy.
8. Neurotoxicity which is a deep aching and a burning pain that is similar to a toothache. This is an adverse effect of drug intake like vinca alkaloids.
9. Irregular dental formation such as craniofacial growth.
10. Osteonecrosis which is a result of high-dose radiation therapy causing a diminishing ability to heal if traumatized.
11. Radiation Caries that usually result within three months of having radiation treatment.
12. Tissue Fibrosis or Trismus which is a loss of flexibility or masticatory muscles that curbs the normal ability of a person to open the mouth.
To ensure proper oral care is given to a cancer patient, it is ideal to subject the patient to a comprehensive oral assessment at least a month before the start of the treatments so the patient would have ample time to recuperate from any invasive dental treatment. An evaluation of the soft and hard tissues, radiographs for detection of probable sources of infection and pathology must all be done as part of the assessment.
Careful supervision of a trusted San Clemente dentist like Dana Ghorab DDS PC to a cancer patient’s oral health is crucial during cancer therapy to alleviate, identify, and treat complications at an early stage. It is equally important to identify the hematologic status of the patient as there are certain considerations when conducting chemotherapy treatments. Fevers are also usually associated with oral complications so signs of this must be monitored. And lastly, for oral treatments, there would be a need for antibiotic prophylaxis. Patients with central venous catheter should seek the expertise of an oncologist first to check if antitbiotics can be used before any dental treatment procedure to avoid endocarditis.
About Dana Ghorab DDS PC
Dana Ghorab DDS PC is a private San Clemente California family dental practice, devoted to the highest standards in personalized dental care. They provide comprehensive treatment, restorative and cosmetic dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to ensure the highest quality and comfort. They pledge to provide their patients with only the care they need and to educate and inform them of all options available. They see patients of all ages and hope to provide continuous care to all members of their clients’ family. They aim to make dental care as comfortable as possible.