Chemo and Dental Health

Prevent Oral health from Chemo Side Effects

People who undergo treatment for cancer will develop some sort of complication orally, approximately one-third of people according to Oral-B and that’s why it is very important that cancer patients stay on top of their oral health. According to the National Institutes of Health, while chemotherapy helps treat cancer, it also causes other side effects to the body. It’s important to know that side effects in the mouth can be serious. They can hurt and make it hard to eat, talk, and swallow. And if these side effects are bad enough, your cancer treatment might be delayed. Your doctor may need to cut back on your cancer treatment or may even stop it, which is why it is important for your primary doctor and your dentist to be in contact. Fortunately, people who may suffer tooth diseases due to chemotherapy can work to prevent their oral health from deteriorating. At (925) 961-5484 in Livermore, we help all our patients follow good oral hygiene habits.

You can do a lot to keep your mouth healthy during chemotherapy, including going to see a dentist before you start cancer treatment. According to, once your treatment starts, remember to look in your mouth every day to keep track of any changes. This is important because the New York Times reports that cancer patients often must decide whether to brave endless needle pricks or to agree to a surgically implanted port. And with a port, they might have to take anti-blood clotting medications too, which increases bleeding during dental and medical procedures and that increases the risk of infection (NYT).

These tips can help prevent and treat a sore mouth:

  • Keep your mouth moist.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Suck ice chips.
  • Use sugarless gum or sugar-free hard candy.
  • Use a saliva substitute to help moisten your mouth.

(this list was compiled from information provided by National Institutes of Health)

If you’ve recently started chemotherapy, we can certainly help you maintain that striking smile of yours. Call Foothill Dental Care in Livermore at (925) 961-5484 to schedule your appointment today. Schedule your dentist appointment today!