Cancer Care

Oral Care for cancer therapy patients

Most people are aware of common side effects of cancer therapy such as nausea and hair loss. But few people are aware that one third of treated patients have oral complications that may delay or suspend treatment. The effects impact considerably on the patient’s quality of life. Oral care before, during and after treatment will diminish the harmful oral effects of cancer therapy.

Radiotherapy and your mouth

Help prevent demineralisation and radiation cavities by beginning a well planned oral hygiene regime preferably a month before treatment. Radiotherapy can affect the white blood cells, the soft tissues of the mouth and salivary glands. The extent and site of the problems will depend on where the radiation is applied, how often the treatment is given and the radiation dose.

Ulceration and inflammation of the lining of the mouth occurs where radiation is directed. Tissues become red, swollen and painful ulcers may develop. Wearing dentures may be uncomfortable Denta-Med Gel may reduce your discomfort while protecting your mouth from infection and remineralising the enamel of your teeth. Radiation affects your taste buds. Additionally Chlorhexidine, often given as a antibacterial treatment to disinfect the mouth affects the taste buds.

Denta-Med Gel is a lightly flavoured formulation that provides prolonged antibacterial activity.

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) is a common side effect of Radiotherapy. Saliva lubricates the mouth and assists with chewing, swallowing, taste and speech. It washes the teeth providing minerals for repair. Saliva also prevents bacteria, viruses and fungi from causing infections, tooth decay and gum disease.

Saliva often becomes ropey making swallowing difficult. Whether the mouth is dry or the saliva is thick you need to take extra precautions to protect your mouth and gums. Denta-Med Gel moisturises and hydrates the mouth forming a protective barrier preventing the build up of bacteria and other harmful microbes.

Chemotherapy And Your Mouth

You may experience mouth ulcers, mouth infections, loss of taste and Dry Mouth. During Chemotherapy the lining of the mouth can become thin and ulceration is likely to occur. Infections can occur because of the weakened immune system. It is imperative to follow a good oral hygiene program before, during and after chemotherapy. Denta-Med Gel can assist with this.

Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

Most patients undergoing marrow transplantation develop acute oral complications. Cold sore infections and oral thrush are common oral infections. Again, it is very important to follow a well planned oral hygiene program before, during and after treatment.

Oral complications of cancer treatment

  • Oral mucositis/stomatitis
  • Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) salivary gland dysfunction
  • Mouth pain
  • Damaged tooth enamel
  • Taste changes
  • Bleeding gums
  • Radiation cavities
  • Tissue fibrosis
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer can affect the whole mouth, including the soft palate.

    Inflammation, infection, dry mouth, ulcers, sensitive teeth, bleeding gums, bad breath, taste disturbance and oral thrush (also called oral candidiasis (kan-dih-DIE-uh-sis) — is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of your mouth. Candida is a normal organism in your mouth, but sometimes it can overgrow and cause symptoms.

    Oral thrush causes creamy white lesions, usually on your tongue or inner cheeks. Sometimes oral thrush may spread to the roof of your mouth, your gums or tonsils, or the back of your throat.

    Although oral thrush can affect anyone, it's more likely to occur in babies, the elderly, and in people with suppressed immune systems or certain health conditions, or those who take certain medications. Oral thrush is a minor problem if you're healthy, but if you have a weakened immune system, symptoms of oral thrush may be more severe and difficult to control.