Proactive Dental Care And Oral Cancer Diagnosis
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We’ve all heard that phrase. But it is so true for your mouth when treating cancer. Including us in your cancer care team early is definitely an ounce of prevention you want to utilize. Here is info I hope you never need.
You’ve received the unwanted news of a cancer diagnosis. Welcome to The. Worst. Club. EVER. The first thought that goes through your head is “expletive deleted.” Once you stop screaming, you begin the process of sorting out how to survive. You learn all you can, line up friends to bring your dinner, pick your care team, and pray to your god.
The most important piece of advice I received was “Take the time to make a good plan.” There are no do-overs for frontline treatment, and cancer diagnosis and treatment planning is complex. What is the diagnosis? What are the treatment options? What are the risks of the options? What are the benefits of the options? Are these risks acceptable TO ME and MY desired quality of life? Can I mitigate the risk? Is the benefit worth the risk?
Proactive dental care is vital to a healthy survivorship. Get us on your care team right away after a cancer diagnosis. How well I know you won't want ONE MORE DOCTOR VISIT, but squaring your oral health while you work through your treatment options will make a huge difference to you later. You’ll want your teeth to eat, talk, and smile once you’re on the other side. Dentists can help.
Here’s the ugly list of potential oral side effects your dentist can help mitigate:
* Dry mouth leading to rampant decay
* Acid reflux or vomiting leading to tooth structure dissolving
* Poor diet leading to tooth damage
* Food tastes wrong - how to compensate safely
* No energy to care for your mouth
* Bleeding gums
* Mouth ulcers
* Toothpaste burns sensitive gums
* Neuropathy impairing dexterity
* Bone disintegration
* Tooth loss
If you find out that you are fighting cancer, let me be your ally and tell me RIGHT AWAY (don't wait until your next appointment). I'll help you with a plan that is right for you, and maximize your chances of coming out the other side with something to smile about.