• How many have teeth or gum problems now, after having radiation on the mouth, throat, head?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Thursday, August 16, 2012

    How many have teeth or gum problems now, after having radiation on the mouth, throat, head?

    I had radiation twice in the neck area, the lower jaw bone was hit both times, now my teeth are brittle, cracking, falling apart. Dentist says it's from no saliva in mouth, no enzymes, etc. Having to have all of them pulled. Anyone else?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • TheEvilyn8's Avatar

      I am having teeth and gum issues but that is only after the ABVD Chemo I did. I haven't even started Radiation yet and my gums are a mess. The dentist wouldn't even see me during chemo.

      over 8 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      And to make the matter just a little more interesting, the oncologist has suggested I get Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments before and after the teeth are pulled. That treatment infuses oxygen into your body and helps tissue heal. I am at risk of getting OsteoRadionecrosis, a condition where the jaw bone will not heal from lack of blood flow to that area from the radiation damaging the area. 30 hyperbaric treatments are 48K , My insurance wont cover that, or the extractions, or the dentures because it is considered "dental work" not a result of having cancer.

      over 8 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      FIRST... fight the cancer... then start fixing the things that can become damaged by the stuff that kills the cancer.

      over 8 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I work for a TPA (Third Party Admin) for health insurance. EVERY health insurance company has an appeals process. If the insurance co is pushing back on you, you have the right to file an appeal. A call to the company should net you how they want an appeal filed. You'll likely need to involve your doctor for a letter of medical necessity and maybe some med records to support it. Your state should also have a Dept of Insurance, if you feel you are being treated unfairly. I know it's work, but sometimes having some other issue to fight helps me out. Good luck.

      over 8 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Shelby, went through that too. Said it was not a covered item and wouldn't pay. I had Oncologist and Oral surgeon both sent letters in. Took them all of about 3 hrs. to deny it.

      over 8 years ago
    • mac101467's Avatar

      drummerboy, I have had neck radiation and it was only last year. I have had 3 teeth already break and had to have 1 removed so far. My radiation oncol forgot to mention this would be a result of the radiation and now is telling me that I have to be placed in a hyperbaric chamber for 10 sessions before and 10 after any lower jaw extractions. he feels this will help the healing process and also feels that eventually all of the teeth will have to be removed. I am not looking forward to that and it scres the heck out of me, but it beats everything else, so I am taking that as a good thing. I don't produce enough saliva and this did help create the problem. The other things I have noticed is spicy food is a no no for me most of the time. Because it doesn't break down as easy, it actually stings. The corners of my mouth split, but I keep chapstick and for the inside of my mouth, I have a dry mouth oral spray that is like my wallet, always with me. Keep me posted as to how well you do (which I think will be fine) as I am destined for the same as you.

      over 8 years ago

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