Three Tips for Oral Health During Cancer Treatment

shutterstock_123265960As family dentists, Dr. Allen and Dr. Neumann are particularly sensitive to the needs of the family unit. That is why they strongly support the goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October. Your Pella dentists understand that when a mother, daughter, or aunt is diagnosed with breast cancer, the whole family is affected. They want to be part of your cancer team and to keep your mouth healthy during your cancer treatment. Read on as Dr. Allen and Dr. Neumann share tips for protecting oral health during a fight with breast cancer.

Tips To Keeping Mouths Healthy During Treatment

  • Tip #1: Maintain Good Dental Hygiene. Dr. Allen and Dr. Neumann recommend that breast cancer patients protect their dental health with twice-daily brushing as well as once-daily flossing. Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash because it may be less likely to irritate the mouth. Chemotherapy typically inhibits white blood cells from fighting off infection, so try to avoid dental procedures when white blood cell counts are low.
  • Tip #2: A common side effect of chemotherapy is mucositis, inflammation of the mouth. Mucositis can be quite painful and can lead to mouth sores, bleeding, and infection. Call our office if you encounter mucositis so that we can help to relieve discomfort and treat any infection.
  • Tip #3: Schedule a dental cleaning and check up before you begin chemotherapy if chemotherapy is part of your cancer treatment. Chemotherapy can suppress white blood cells, so as a result, a chemo patient’s ability to battle infection is compromised. If Dr. Allen or Dr. Neumann find that a breast cancer patient needs a deep cleaning to treat gum disease or another dental procedure, the patient may be more likely to develop an infection if undergoing chemotherapy. That is why Dr. Allen and Dr. Neumann prefer to perform procedures prior to beginning chemotherapy. If this is not possible, one’s oncologist can instruct our dentists and patient on when the patient can most safely undergo a procedure.

About Allen Family Dentistry

Dr. Jeffrey F. Allen DDS and Dr. Denise Neumann have provided comfortable dental care to patients of all ages since 1996. Their services include gum disease treatment, teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and Invisalign. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a check up or cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.