Why we must keep our teeth healthy when we receive radiotherapy
A recent study showed that 5 years after radiotherapy, if we do not take proper care of our teeth, the needs for the treatment of dental caries reach 97%!
About 80% of people with Head and Cervical cancer will receive radiation therapy, with or without surgery or chemotherapy. Because of the treatment, significant changes and problems will develop in the mouth.
Ulcers (painful sores), fungal and other infections, loss of taste, dry mouth, tooth decay, osteoradionecrosis and trismus (difficulty in opening the mouth), will be observed during treatment and after the completion of radiotherapy.
Dental caries affects teeth from the first year and can break and destroy them. Your care by the properly informed dentist will help to avoid the above problems.
Radiation caries is associated with both the immediate effect of radiotherapy on the teeth and with problems in the mouth, such as dry mouth, difficulty eating due to bad taste and / or trismus and inadequate oral care.
Extensive dental caries limits the healing potential, the teeth cannot be "saved", which means that they cannot be repaired and need to be extracted, resulting in an increased risk of osteoradionecrosis. Our daily quality of life is diminished.
In conclusion, "Oral health will deteriorate, treatment needs will be very high and the limitations in performing the desired treatment will be numerous when oral care during radiotherapy is ignored. "
Oral health care becomes even more important, since we now know that good oral health has a beneficial effect on the outcome and success of treatment. Patients will live better and longer!