Breast Cancer and Oral Health

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It is estimated that breast cancer will affect one in eight women in the United States. And although the incidence is lower, breast cancer affects men too. Chances are you or someone you know has been affected by this terrible disease.

People undergoing cancer treatment may develop complications that affect the mouth and therefore the quality of life. And, preexisting or untreated oral disease can even complicate cancer treatment. It’s important to visit your dentist BEFORE beginning cancer treatment.

Chemotherapy agents can affect saliva production leading to dry mouth and serious dental problems. These agents also suppress white blood cells that protect against infection in your mouth. Oral infections can be particularly dangerous when the immune system is suppressed. All dental work should be completed and teeth should be cleaned prior to cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment is a difficult time for all who must go through it. Being aware of the potential aide effect will help avoid many problems. By practicing good oral hygiene, you can decrease bacteria levels in the mouth and, consequently, some of the side effects of breast cancer therapy.

Dr. Sheehan and his team are and always will be committed to your comfort. We truly care about our patients and want to provide you the best care possible. Visiting us before beginning cancer treatment can help fight off potential threats to your oral health ahead of time. Breast cancer treatment should be a coordinated effort between your physician, oncologist and your dentist.