• Can chemo or radiation damage teeth?

    Asked by jgoat01 on Saturday, February 9, 2013

    Can chemo or radiation damage teeth?

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      Jgoat1, Yes actually some chemotherapies (Herceptin for example) can harm the enamel on the teeth and some class of drugs like biphosphonates (Zometa) cause what is called osteonecrosis of the jaw where the jawbone looses its density and teeth loosen and can fall out. Radiation, especially in the head or neck region will also cause osteonecrosis. If you are about to begin these treatments especially a treatment to prevent osteoporosis, it is recommended you get a base line examination from your dentist and have loose teeth removed prior to initiation of the therapy. I hope this answers your question. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      about 2 years ago
    • CountryGirl's Avatar
      CountryGirl

      Hi. The chemo I had seemed to dry out my entire body. A year and half later, I am still experiencing this. I don't know if it goes away. But there are consequences to my chemo . . .

      I had seven cavities after chemo. Most were the result of cracked fillings from a long time ago. The dentist suggested that chemo may have dried my mouth out and caused this. Now, I chew gum frequently to increase my saliva production. Weird, huh?

      Also, my eyes are drier. My optometrist said that it was visible on my eyeball (she used a more technical word). As a result, I blink excessively when placed by a fan or hvac vent. She prescribed drops, but I don't use them often.

      I think it was the taxol that dried out my body. I still wake up several times a night and guzzle water like a woman lost in the desert.

      about 2 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I am having to have all my teeth taken out right now due to radiation and chemo treatments over the last 24 years and three different dx's. Osteoradionecrosis is a risk now. I was told to have teeth checked out and be sure they were in good shape before treatment. I did, everything was fine. Now four years later all teeth are trashed.
      My treatment center now recommends that everyone that's having head and neck radiation to have teeth removed before hand to prevent the possibility of ORN.
      So the short answer is YES

      about 2 years ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      CountryGirl,
      Try lemon drops..that good old fashioned box of Lemonheads is the best cure for dry mouth. Lemon always stimulates the production of saliva. Love those sugary tart treats. I think I am a Lemonhead from many years back, Carm RN.

      about 2 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      Not directly, but the side effects can give you extremely dry mouth, which will cause damage to your teeth. Silva helps keep the mouth healthy, healthy mouth = healthy teeth. It can also speed decay once the enamel is breached. I use a soft tooth brush biotine tooth paste and mouth wash. Biotine also makes gum, and drop to use to help keep your mouth moist. i gargle twice a day with warm water mixed with a 1/4 tsp of salt and1/4 tsp of baking powder. Drinking a lot not only helps flush the chemo out of your system, it also helps keep your mouth moist. good luck.

      about 2 years ago
    • Snooks' Avatar
      Snooks

      Yes, definitely. After chemo my bottom teeth started disintergrating and I eventually had to get a bottom denture. I believe there is not a dentist (or medical doctor) alive that will admit this, but the proof is there. Good Luck

      about 2 years ago
    • Joy76's Avatar
      Joy76

      I had radiation in my spine and now I have loose teeth :( I don't even have a cavity! My poor teeth HURT!

      11 months ago
    • Peaches48's Avatar
      Peaches48

      My first chemo I got mouth sores so bad it loosen about all my teeth and then I was on aromadex and my teeth with filling have just fell apart. I've been ashamed to go to the dentist but now I have no other choice.I can't afford to do anything but pull them. I don't

      9 months ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more breast cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Breast Cancer page.