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Cancer sucks.  Sadly, 40% of people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lives. If you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer, there are some things you should know about how cancer treatment can affect dental health.

Chemotherapy drugs are one of the most common treatments for many different types of cancer. And while those drugs kill cancer cells, they also can harm normal cells.  Mouth tissue is especially susceptible, and many cancer patients develop problems with their teeth and gums, and the salivary glands.

Before a person can start chemotherapy, their doctor will usually require that they visit their dentist. This can help prevent serious problems later in treatment, as pre-existing dental problems are usually to blame.  Not all side-effects can be avoided, but starting treatment with a healthy mouth will help keep the treatment schedule on track.

Everyone is different, and there are many different chemotherapy drugs, so not everyone will have the same side effects.  Some of the possible side effects include pain in the mouth and gums, dry mouth, burning or swelling of the tongue, infections, and a loss of or change in taste.

After treatment starts, it’s important to carefully monitor your mouth for sores.  To keep your mouth moist (the most common problem), be sure to stay well hydrated.  Sucking on ice chips, chewing gum, or using a saliva substitute may be necessary.

At Vacendak Dentistry, we are committed to serving patients at all stages of life.  Our office is completely wheelchair accessible, and we are happy to do whatever we can to accommodate our patients and their needs.

Experience the Vacendak Difference today. Vacendak Dentistry’s convenient Chesapeake, Virginia location is just a short way from both the Kempsville and Greenbrier areas. Contact us online or call the office at 757-609-3510 to set up an initial dental consultation.