Taking Care Of Your Oral Health While Going Through Chemotherapy

Cancer can have a negative impact on your oral health. If you are going through chemotherapy, you need to ensure that you take special care of your teeth and gums, since problems with your teeth and gums can interfere with your treatment or put a stop to them altogether. Here are some tips for taking care of your gums and teeth while going through chemotherapy.

Brush Carefully

The type of toothbrush that you use when you are going through chemotherapy is extremely important. Brushes that are too hard can scratch your gums which can lead to sores. If you find that the brush that you are using is too hard or rough, then you can dip the bristles in warm water to soften it and prevent it from scratching your gums.

Keep Your Mouth As Moist As Possible

Chemotherapy can damage salivary glands and cause dry mouth. A dry mouth can cause tooth decay, since important minerals from saliva are not present in the mouth to help to remineralize teeth. To help to curb this problem, rinse your mouth out as often as possible with water. This will help to keep moisture levels high. You should also avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol or peroxide since these can be extremely drying. Instead of using a store-bought mouthwash, you can create your own cleansing wash by adding, one tablespoon of salt or baking soda to a glass of water and rinsing your mouth. You may also want to consider using artificial saliva. These can purchased at your local pharmacy.

Avoid crunchy foods

Crunchy foods should be avoided when you are going through chemotherapy. This is because crunchy foods tend to require more effort to chew and can cause small scratches in the mouth. These small scratches can take longer to heal since your immune system is not as healthy as it should be. Instead of crunchy foods, try to eat more liquid and pureed foods, since these are easier on the gums.

Enhance Your Sense Of Taste With Marinades

Chemotherapy can damage the taste buds. If you find that your sense of taste is not as sharp as it used to be, you may want to create marinades for some of your food to enhance the flavor.

Use Plastic Utensils

If your gums get extremely tender during chemotherapy, try using plastic utensils, since these are easier on your gums than stainless steel utensils. Do not wash and re-use plastic spoons forks or knives. Dispose of them after each use to avoid contamination.

Taking care of your oral health while going through chemotherapy is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure that your treatment goes well. Contact a dentist, like Maria E Marzo, D.D.S., PC, for more information.