Dentist Before Chemo

Ladies - did you all make it to the dentist before chemo started? None of the dentists from my hometown seem to work on Friday and my Mom leaves for Boston on Sunday. Has chemo affected your mouthcare?

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Really? I find Fri the best day to go. Its usally quiet. I find going early in the morning its really quiet.
Before I started Doxil again I had my teeth cleaned and a filling and general check up

I know this is stange but I found my dentist at 1 800 dentist , I went on the internet .
they list when they are there, if they have late or saturday hours. worked out great for me .
as for mouth, my mouth seems to be ok , im on doxil, no problems

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I HIGHLY recommend getting your teeth cleaned before chemo. I did not and lost two teeth and had to have two others rerootcanaled from chemotherapy.

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I had my teeth cleaned before chemo and they found I needed some work done. I didn't do any dental work if my blood counts were down. I had to have a tooth pulled and we had to do a cbc that day before he would do it. My onc will give the dentist the ok if bloodwork is ok and I have a prescript of antibiotics that I take(high dose) the day before I have any work done that could involve bleeding. I have found that I can work dental care in if I need it done.

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PS I also invested in a good electric toothbrush that the dentist recommended. It's important to pay attention to good dental hygiene to avoid any problems with bacteria while your immune system is struggling with chemo

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15 cavities in six months two root canals and thee crowns replaced. All after no problems for years. Nothing stopped it. Dry mouth exacerbated it. Dentist said he sees this with chemotherapy.

I seenhi every two months so wii see him next week.

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Everyone is so different! I haven't had any problems with my teeth and chemo. In fact, I was at the dentist's yesterday for a regular check up and he kept gushing about my wonderful saliva (I'll take compliments where I can get them I suppose). He said frequently dry mouth is a symptom of chemo and saliva is such a strong defense against cavities. He said he was ready to prescribe a special toothpaste which encourages saliva but that I didn't need it.

Hopefully your mouth will be just fine. You have enough on your plate!

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yes if you can get to dentist-it was never mentioned to me and 2 1/2 yrs latter lost bottom to periodontial disease-because due to chemo- immume system was deppressed.

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My dentist now has me rinsing with ACT fluoride rinse twice a day. It is also a non-alcohol mouthwash, which is important to minimize drying. I checked the labels of most of the other fluoride mouthwashes in the store, which are less expensive. But, they all have less than half the fluoride per rinse than the ACT brand. So, I think that the price evens out.

btw., about 2 years ago I saw a pamphlet at my dentist's which discussed post-menopause gum disease and decay. It basically said that estrogen decrease contributes to saliva decrease, which increases decay risk. So getting hit with chemo is a double whammy. Nothing like getting kicked when you are down.

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Woaimama,

I had instructions to go to the dentist before chemo, which I did as it was around our family's 6-month dental check up anyway. I haven't had any cavity for years. On my next 6 month dental check up, which was then after chemo, bam! 3 cavities!!!

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Hi there

Good to be on the ball and thinking about your dental health as it can take a real back seat through the veil of all the other stuff we have to deal with. However I have just finished chemo two months ago and had to have a broken wisdom tooth pulled. Three weeks on I am finding the healing process is very much slower than I would previously have experienced. The potential for abcess formation and infection is exacerbated by the ongoing effects of the chemo.

So the message is to pplan and take a great deal of care as your teeth allow us to enjoy some of the good stuff left for us to enjoy every day.

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I'm a dentist. I hear so many patients say they haven't had a cavity for years, but then they haven't been in to see me, either. It's so easy to examine your mouth with your tongue!
Your body is in need of maintenance care just like everything else. Getting it reguarly keeps any necessary work needed smaller. Chemo (and radiation), menopause, and age all affect teeth and gums just as much as our whole body. Changes in our bodies are subtle and unnoticeable, just like the rest of our lives. Most of us really didn't notice small signs of our cancer as they came along. Or a few pounds, or high sugar, hardening of the arteries, etc.
The sad part is that what goes on in your mouth greatly impacts your body as a whole. Medical doctors don't really consider it a real body part. Diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, low birth weights, have all been linked to the mouth.
But dentistry is so expensive! Neglect is so easy until it hurts. Do yourself a favor and find a dentist, and get a checkup. And ask around for a referral to someone who is a real healthcare provider, just like you did for your cancer. We're out there, but just like anything else, a good one is hard to find.
Rose

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I went to the dentist for a checkup before chemo because I knew that if I had a tooth problem when my white counts were down (from chemo) I'd have to either live with a toothache or delay my chemo treatment. Turns out I needed a root canal, which I had the day before I started chemo (yeah, it was a great week!)
I used Crest non-alcohol mouthwash while on chemo (I usually use Listerine) and when I went back to the dentist after it was all over my teeth were loaded with plaque. My dentist said it was from the non-alcohol mouthwash.
The plaque was really the only resultant problem I had with my teeth, although they're not as white as they were before chemo (but it's not that much of a difference. I'm probably the only one who notices it.)

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Bravely2 (Rose),

I have no connection to the dental profession, but I want to support what you say. I have been an much more attentive with dental care as each of my chemos would allow, with non-alcohol mouthwash, flossing, and using a gum stimulator. Except during Doxil treatment, when my oncologist advised not to floss or stimulate blood flow (mouth sore issues), this has worked for me. After the better part of 18 months on treatment, I got to the dentists again, with no decay and no huge plaque build-up. I did wait about two months, so that I could use my stimulator an floss to rebuild my gum strength before the checkup. I had no bleeding from the exam or the cleaning. I had my share of decay and root canals in the past, and have a family history on one side of periodontal disease. But, I really didn't want cancer to get this part of my body, too!

To poolside, my dentist recommends non-alcohol mouthwash to all of his patients. He never said anything to me about the alcohol in mouthwash being a plaque preventive. And alcohol isn't listed as an active ingredient, so I'm not sure what it does for the patient. Maybe Rose can give us an opinion on that.

So ladies, definitely do the dental work. And the twice daily care, too. It can pay off.

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Unfortunately I can't go to the dentist because none can accomadate me with the severeness of my scoliosis. My back is curved so bad. The only way I can lay is on my side. My scoliosis was brought on by my muscular dystrophy.
So, as they say...I'm up the creek without a paddle.
I know that I have a couple of cavaties now. Just gotta deal with them.

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Keep drinking copious amounts of water. I went to the dentist regularly. No problems. But dental work can cause infections. Get your dental work done early in the chemo process. LOTS OF WATER!

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Thank you for your responses. We got my mom to see a dentist before her staging operation. Your advice and experiences are greatly appreciated!

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Try to go and get a check up. This will be there base line for you. Also do like the other said and get an electric tooth brush. PURCHASE SENSODYNE PRO-NAMEL tooth paste. This will help your enamel on your teeth which chemo does remove. and it is spelled pronamel...lol thats not chemo spelling..That saved me and I remember in dental school them talking about it because people on Dilantin have bad teeth and this helps them too. Chemo is very hard on everything. Go get some....
Stac

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Yep!

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Hi! I was wondering...I thought electronic toothbrushes might be too tough on gums? Can you use them during chemo?

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Lotta dental problems here, the enamel came off the flat chewing surface of all my teeth. Got one side repaired and had to start chemo, and I've been delaying getting the other side till chemo is done. I had problems with low platelets so I was told to not see dentist, or even floss till I was done. I also got TMJ from low magnesium (anybody hear of that?) and started having migraines. Magnesium infusions made the TMJ migraines go away.

No one told me to see the dentist before chemo, but it would not have helped me anyway, as the chemo caused all mine.

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