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Dental care is an important part of overall cancer care. Problems with the teeth, gums or mouth can interfere with eating well. Likewise, poor nutrition can lead to dental problems.

Visit the dentist before your treatment begins if possible, and follow these tips:

  • Maintain good dental and oral hygiene to help prevent gum disease and infection, including the use of prescribed mouthwash.
  • Inspect your mouth daily to detect any problems.
  • Speak with your oncologist and dentist as soon as possible if you have any mouth, tooth or jaw pain - or any other symptom of possible dental problems.
  • Ask your doctor for oral hygiene tips and dietary suggestions to reduce or relieve any discomfort.
  • Follow your doctor's advice about getting any major dental procedures you need completed before starting therapy.

Update your medical history records with your dentist to include cancer diagnosis and treatments. Give your dentist and your oncologist each other's name and telephone number for consultation. If needed, your oncologist may refer you to a dental oncologist (a dentist who is specially trained to treat people with cancer).

last updated on Wednesday, March 16, 2011
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