• I'm going to ask my radiation oncologist about the damage to my teeth and what they can do to prevent it.

    Asked by Doogie on Monday, November 5, 2018

    I'm going to ask my radiation oncologist about the damage to my teeth and what they can do to prevent it.

    Is there anything they can do? Has anyone asked this question to their dr? It seems like they could protect the teeth somehow?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Oh gee. Are you having head-throat radiation? Did your clinic even put you on a diet to help your teeth-like adding dry-powdered milk to your foods? I see that you are a head/throat cancer patient, but where is your cancer? They have lead teeth and eye shields to protect your eyes and teeth if needed. They tell you to see a dentist for bad teeth-- We are on our own for dental work unless you have dental insurance.

      Have you seen your oncology radiologist yet? You should have this conversation before treatment starts about the gel fluoride, teeth shields, radiation diet, creams to use after a treatment to reduce burns--clean your skin well wash the area before treatment-then after each treatment apply a cream or something to the area--My doc said-- Aquaphor--

      They have lead shields for your eyes- my radiology oncologist fashioned lead shields for my teeth and they worked pretty well- I'm 76 and I have my own teeth.

      you go to a drug store and buy a gel fluoride. Here's a link to a brand and the instructions on how to use it-- if possible start the treatment. Gel Kam---
      https://polyclinic.com/cancer-care-flouride-treatment-for-head-and-neck-radiation-therapy

      My radiologist checked my teeth before this started nose-mouth radiation. I just checked ACS- and it's still as worthless as a hind tit on a boar. hog.

      We just had a good conversation about radiation cremes on whatnext I live almost 7,000 ft high at the edge of the Chihuahua desert-and Aquaphor worked really great- cheap too.

      Good luck

      over 1 year ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I had total loss of all my teeth. Nothing was done prior to or during my treatments to prevent any damage. I was only told to see my dentist often. The only good it does to see your dentist is for him to see how bad the damage is getting. Now, the Oncologists will send a new head and neck cancer patient to see the Oral surgery department to see about possibly removing all teeth before you even start. They know that the teeth are going to be destroyed, so removing them prior to treatments is the best option. Removing them after treatments leaves you susceptible to Osteoradionecrosis, and if you Google that condition you will see right away that you don't want it. Here is an article I wrote recently about the side effects of radiation for head and neck patients. Click here to read it>> http://bit.ly/2pKGf2E

      over 1 year ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Greg, you are correct. I will add that my dentist told me that it's cheaper to remove teeth before the radiation treatment, because the radiation causes the roots to become soft and pulpy, which makes extraction more difficult. Then long roots can cause lose of the jaw bone around the roots, everything crumbles during an extraction.

      I didn't have chemo like most people-so my teeth weren't damaged by that. I have a good dentist of over 25 years that thought my teeth could survive. I actually didn't have time for any dental work, as I was being rushed in-other patients were rescheduled for later, my radiology oncologist were in communication with each other. My radiologist had me start fluoride-Gel Kam---So it worked out very good for me. Oh, yes, I had and have good bone density and my teeth had been maintained throughout the years. I can only say-- that God blessed me in many ways.

      over 1 year ago
    • thestarr's Avatar
      thestarr

      You are so right Greg. Before radiation and Chemo, I went to a dentist to check on my teeth. He said everything was fine.....NOT!!! About a year after all treatment stopped, my teeth started having problems. My regular dentist refuses to pull and sent me to an Oral surgeon. He pulled the tooth and after two months I was experiencing a tremendous amount of pain. Turns out I had Osteonecrosis of the jaw. I'm still taking antibiotics it's 6 months now. I'm finally going to go for the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber treatment. I resisted doing this for so long because of being claustrophobic. I finally talked my Oral surgeon to give me something to relax. I have my first treatment on the 20th of November.

      over 1 year ago
    • Dkatsmeow's Avatar
      Dkatsmeow

      My dentist made me a tooth guard. Didn't help. Teeth are crumbling out. I would recommend removing your teeth before treatment. After it gets expensive. You will have to have Hyperbaric Oxgen treatment before they will remove any teeth. And I brushed, flossed, used the flouride, everything they recommended, still they are crumbling out. Also if treatment, you will have to worry about the bone. The jaw bone can be affected also. And you can get some nasty infections & necrosis in the jaw bone.

      over 1 year ago
    • donnatu9122's Avatar
      donnatu9122

      I needed Radioactive Iodine (RAI ) . This is taken internally. I needed 200 Mci's . This plus the external radiation caused major dental decay. I brush and floss several times a day. My teeth just crumble. My gums also have pain. I have a mouthwash the pharmacist made for the bad days. It helps a lot. I wish I could have done before surgery, but there was no time.

      over 1 year ago

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