Cancer is an unfortunate reality among people today, becoming one of the leading causes of deaths in the world to date. Those who suffer from cancer must endure several types of painful treatments to overcome their disease, often survive tens to hundreds of invasive surgeries, and feel more pain than those without cancer feel in their lifetime. Because of these extreme hurdles, doctors have been urging cancer patients to keep an eye on any other problems that might arise because of their cancer and their treatment options, including visiting their Austin dentist.
According to a recent publication by the National Institute of Health it is important that cancer patients should ask for a dentist to be a part of their cancer research team, as chemotherapy and radiation can cause severe dental problems in many patients. The N.I.H. recommends that you see a dentist before undergoing cancer treatment for several reasons:
- You will feel better all around if you have no dental problems before treatment. Dentists can let you know if you have any mouth disease or other dental related issues and fix them accordingly, especially because some of those problems can actually be caused by chemotherapy and radiation or can be made worse by the treatments.
- Your dentist can help save your teeth, gums, and jaw bone if you are about to undergo head and neck cancer treatment.
- Problems in the mouth such as periodontal disease can actually get in the way and possibly prevent successful cancer treatment. This is also true of side effects in the mouth caused by your cancer treatment.
Many dentists will urge pre-cancer treatment options for their patients which includes a digital X-ray examination, custom fluoride trays to limit and prevent root decay from the chemo and radiation, and the possible removal of some teeth that are un-restorable that could abscess during your cancer treatment. An abscessed tooth could be the side effect in your mouth that could halt your treatment altogether. If you are a cancer patient and have dentures, your dentist might suggest a refitting after your treatment or may replace them depending on the effects of the treatment.
Fighting cancer is the most difficult yet can be the most rewarding experience in a person’s life, and struggling through chemotherapy and radiation, along with all of the side effects, is quite a challenge as well. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is important to your health to be sure you see a dentist that you trust and you take care of your teeth. If you require cancer pre-treatment, call Dr. Dan Matthews at his dental office in Austin today to schedule an appointment and get the care that you need.