What is dental and oral problems?
Dental and oral problems may affect your overall health. Ignoring dental and oral problems can make it difficult to eat, talk, chew, or swallow. Fortunately, with good care, you and your doctor can lower the risk of these side effects and manage them if they do happen. Many cancer treatments have side effects that damage patient’s mouth, teeth, and salivary glands.
How bad are my dental and oral problems?
- Ulcers, sores, or tender areas in the mouth that won’t heal after a week or two
- Bleeding or swollen gums after brushing or flossing
- Chronic bad breath
- Sudden sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or beverages
- Pain or toothache
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
- Pain with chewing or biting
- Swelling of the face and cheek
- Clicking of the jaw
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Frequent dry mouth
How to manage mild dental and oral problems?
- Gently brush your teeth 2 times a day and floss regularly. Use a child-size, soft toothbrush if your regular brush is too bulky or uncomfortable.
- Avoid alcohol and extreme textures and flavors in your diet.
- Consider eating soft and mild food. Extremely hot, cold, spicy, acidic, or crunchy foods may irritate your mouth.
- Lower your sugar intake. The bacteria in your mouth use sugar to live, and this process makes the acid that causes tooth decay.
- Promote good bone health. Getting enough vitamin D and calcium each day helps your jaw and teeth stay strong and healthy.
- Dairy products are good sources of calcium and vitamin D. Other food choices may include fortified juice and fortified breakfast cereals. Talk with your health care team before taking any supplements.
- Mouth rinses that contain salt and baking soda may help treat mouth sores
- Drinking water may help manage dry mouth. Sucking on ice chips or having sugar-free chewing gum with xylitol may help. Avoid things that will dry out the mouth (soda, fruit juice, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and alcohol).
How to manage moderate and severe dental and oral problems?
What causes dental and oral problems?
- Radiation therapy to the head and neck
- Targeted therapy
- Bone-modifying drugs
- Poor oral hygiene
- Poor eating habits
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