Oral Health for Breast Cancer Patients-Art of Cosmetic Dentistry Buckhead

According to a recent article in Dimensions of Dental Hygiene, the average woman has a one in eight lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, the most common cancer in women. The good news is that most women have a five year survival rate higher than 80%. These statistics say that the treatment for breast cancer is effective. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dental side effects to treatment. While there are guidelines for treating patients with cancer, there are none for the time period prior to therapy. This is a critical time to prepare the patient’s mouth to be healthy for treatment. The dentist and hygienist can evaluate their mouth for anything that could be a source of infection such as dental cavities, deteriorating teeth, gum disease, ill-fitting appliances, gingivits, or oral lesions. Eliminating these sources of infection prior to treatment allows it to be more effective. It is also a good time to discuss some of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, such as neuropathy with numbness, tingling, pain, muscle weakness, swelling, or dry mouth. The dental team can also recommend strategies for keeping the patient’s mouth healthy and the bacterial population down. During treatment the patient should be advised to eat soft, moist foods that aren’t spicy or acidic. They should also avoid tobacco and alcohol products during treatment. Mild flavored dental product should also be used. Making a strategy for the patient will help them to successfully undergo treatment while causing as little damage to the oral cavity as possible.