National Dental Hygiene & Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National National Dental Hygiene Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please take a few moments this month to schedule your mammograms and regular dental checkups.

It is estimated that breast cancer will affect one in eight women in the U.S. Chances are that you know someone who has been diagnosed and fought breast cancer.

More than one-third of people being treated for breast cancer can develop complications that affect the mouth. These complications can affect your quality of life. Preexisting or untreated oral disease can even complicate cancer treatment. This is one reason to make sure you visit your dentist at least one month before beginning cancer treatment.

Most chemotherapy agents suppress white blood cells, which protect against infection. Chemotherapy can also effect saliva production, leading to dry mouth, and serious dental implications. The oral tissues can become very inflamed, cavities can become rampant, and gums may bleed easily. All dental work should be completed and the teeth should be cleaned prior to cancer therapy. Oral infection can be hazardous when your immune system is suppressed.

Most patients are treated with chemotherapy, radiation,or both. If you are also taking bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, Boniva, etc., you may be putting yourself at further risk for bone problems. Recent studies suggest long-term use of such bisphosphonates may develop into destruction of the jaw bone. The risk significantly increases with chemotherapy.

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

Visiting your dentist at least one month before beginning cancer treatment can help you fight potential threats to your oral health ahead of time. Breast cancer treatment should be a coordinated team effort which should include your physician, oncologist, and your dentist.

Fountains Dental Excellence is and always will be committed to your comfort.  We truly care about our patients and want to provide you with the best care possible.  Please communicate any medical condition that you are experiencing and/or treating with us, so that we can ensure that we are meeting your needs, as well as preserving your beautiful smile.

Mai-Ly Ramirez, DDS & Your Fountains Dental Excellence Team
By | 2017-04-27T04:27:03+00:00 October 18th, 2014|advice & tips & knowledge|0 Comments