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Does Cancer Treatment Affect Periodontal Health?

Posted on 5/15/2024 by Amir Hosseini, DDS
happy patient in sunhat relaxing in the shade in the countrysidePeriodontal health focuses on the health status of the gums, periodontal ligaments, and jawbones. A periodontist will examine your gums for bleeding, inflammation, sores, and recession to determine if you have sound gingival health. One major factor that affects your periodontal health is cancer medication and treatment. Below are different ways cancer treatment can impact periodontal health:

Gum Inflammation

Different cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, can inflame the gums and surrounding tissues, impacting periodontal health. These treatment options can cause swelling, bleeding, and gum tenderness, increasing the likelihood of periodontitis.

Decreased Saliva Production

Performing chemo or radiation therapy on the neck and head can affect the salivary glands, resulting in decreased saliva production. Saliva is essential in maintaining dental health. It keeps the mouth moist while neutralizing harmful bacteria. If your glands cannot produce sufficient saliva, you can become more vulnerable to a dry mouth, dental caries, or periodontal disease.

Compromised Immune System

While cancer treatments help prevent complications and alleviate cancer-related symptoms, they can compromise the immune system. They can suppress the immune system and inhibit the body from fighting oral infection, making you susceptible to periodontitis and other dental problems.

Oral Mucositis

Mucositis is an oral condition characterized by mouth sores and an inflamed mucous membrane. The complication is usually an outcome of cancer treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Mucositis causes inflammation, discomfort, and difficulty eating. It can make you skip your oral routine, increasing the likelihood of developing periodontal disease or other dental issues.

Prolonged or Delayed Healing

Delayed or prolonged healing is another outcome of cancer treatment on periodontal health. Cancer treatments and medications can inhibit the natural healing process, resulting in an extended recovery process after various periodontal or dental procedures.

Contact Our Practice Today

Cancer treatment helps improve positive outcomes, increase survival rates, and, most importantly, enhance the quality of life for anyone diagnosed with cancer. However, it can be detrimental to periodontal health. Our periodontists can help you manage your oral health as you undergo your treatments. Contact us today to book a preliminary meeting with our team.

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Aesthetic Periodontal & Implant Specialists, 1130 E Sonterra Blvd, Suite 120, San Antonio, TX 78258 | (210) 614-4700 | | 6/14/2024 | Page Phrases: Dental Implants San Antonio TX |