Chemotherapy

Visiting the dentist

Posted by Sara Liyanage on 02 October 2017

Getting your mouth in order – dental hygiene

  1. You can’t have dental work done while you are on chemotherapy so it is important to get your mouth in order before chemo starts and;
  2. Chemo can cause unpleasant side effects in the mouth (such as a dry mouth and throat, metallic and other odd tastes, ulcers, sore gums and bleeding gums) so it is important to take care of/look after your oral health during chemo.

So, to get yourself organised in all things mouth related:

· See your dentist before treatment starts so any dental work is done before chemo starts.

· Gums will be soft and possibly sore, so use a soft toothbrush. Sara used a small child toothbrush which had very soft bristles.

· Buy some organic toothpaste and mouthwash (or at least mouthwash without alcohol). Sara used organic aloe vera and tea tree oil toothpaste and mouthwash from her local health shop.

· But corsodyl mouthwash is ok if you have any gum problems during chemo (but best to check with your chemo team).

Helpful resources and more information

Macmillan

www.colgate.com have some helpful information on this topic – have a search of their site.

Note: Sara’s number 1 tip for someone about to embark upon chemotherapy or already undergoing it is to get a copy of “Braving Chemo: What to Expect, How to Prepare and How to Get Through It” by Beverly A. Zavaleta MD (available from Amazon and other book stores). For my full review of this book see Breast Cancer Book Reviews.

The information and content provided on this page is intended for information and educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice.

Reviewed August 2021

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