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A Dental Exam Before Beginning Chemotherapy?

Posted on October 25, 2011 | in Dental Care | by

Routine dental examinations prevent against tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues detrimental to not only our oral health, but our overall physical health as well.

Basically this regular exam, teeth cleaning, oral cancer screening, and any other diagnostic procedure such as digital radiography, allow our dentists to gain a complete picture of our oral health.

In order for our trusted family dentist to accurately communicate our current oral health situation, we actually need to go to the dentist!

But that’s been said before, and it will be said again – at least as long as you’re a reader of this little dental-centric blog.

Dental exams become anything but routine when we factor in some other health-related variables. Pregnancies, diabetes, even chemotherapy all represent opportunities for the cavity creeps to grab hold of our optimal oral health and throw a wrench in the works. A Dental Exam Before Chemotherapy

In order for us to receive a total picture of our overall systemic health, it is essential we pay attention to our teeth and gums too.

Without oral health concerns, our picture is out of focus.

It’s the whole incisor, to our oral systemic health connection we’ll all learn more about, as this area of research and patient education becomes more widely known.

When Life Happens, See the Dentist

Maybe going to the dentist isn’t our first thought on receiving the positive pregnancy test news, and perhaps diabetes and dentistry don’t seem like two subjects that go hand in hand. In order for us to maintain optimal health and wellness, we need to actively promote our own optimal oral health.

If not, we’re missing a crucial part of the equation. But our trusted local social dentists are not going to let that happen.

A Dental Exam Before ChemotherapyGiven October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month; we’d like to take the opportunity to promote some local dentistry as it relates to chemotherapy and breast cancer.

Chemotherapy is another cancer treatment regime, or area of health care, where dentistry factors into the equation.

According to Dr. Reitz, in his weekly dental article for the ReadingEagle.com (Reading, PA.);

Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy are effective in treating fast-growing cancer cells but are also toxic to rapidly dividing cells such as bone marrow and mucus membranes.

Mucus membranes line our mouth, throat, digestive and respiratory systems.

In his article, Dr. Reitz explains how everyone experiences mouth ulcers at one time or another, which is totally normal. But more importantly, a similar ulceration occurs during chemotherapy, but to a greater degree and often more painfully.

Dr. Reitz goes on to mention how, in addition to the chemotherapy being toxic to mucus membranes, it also prevents cells in the mouth from reproducing, making it difficult for oral tissue to repair itself.

A healthy mouth contains many different bacteria, some beneficial, others detrimental.

It’s thought that chemotherapy reduces the amount and consistency of saliva, allowing more bad (pathogenic) bacteria to proliferate. Click the link to learn more about how chemotherapy affects mouth ulcer causes and treatment, read Dr. Reitz’s entire article from the ReadingEagle.com.

Then, be sure to SHARE this dental health information with your entire friend list!

Better yet, take this article and post it to your Facebook Wall – and be sure to give a ‘Like’ to Dr. Reitz while you’re at it!

 

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of DentalPatientNews.com, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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