Oral Care & Chemotherapy
Your body and all of its systems are intertwined and function as a whole. Oral health greatly impacts and influences your overall health in general; plaque buildup and harmful bacteria can cause periodontitis (the breakdown of tissue and bone at the surface of and beneath the gum line), and gingivitis (gum disease). There has also been research that suggests harmful oral bacteria can enter your body via bleeding gums and affect other body systems such as the cardiovascular system. The buildup of plaque and bacteria in heart arteries can increase the possibility of a heart attack.
Regular cleanings and oral maintenance can improve your health by decreasing the amount of plaque around your teeth and gums, and helps to prevent bad bacteria from accumulating by removing their ideal environment.
The side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy need to be understood and taken into account by patients in order to plan the most efficient way to maintain oral care while receiving treatments and help prevent potential problems that may occur.
Chemotherapy can have a toxic effect on oral tissue and your body’s natural ability to function. It is common for chemotherapy to debilitate the function of bone marrow, because it suppresses the formation of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. If cancer is within the head and neck region there is an increase probability of side effects and oral problems.