For individuals with blood cancer, maintaining good oral health is crucial due to the potential impact cancer treatments can have on the immune system and oral tissues. Here are some tips to help patients effectively manage their oral health during their cancer journey:

  1. Regular dental visits: Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings before cancer treatment begins. This helps address any existing dental issues and ensures your mouth is in good health.
  2. Consult with your healthcare team: Before starting cancer treatment, inform your oncologist and dental professional about your condition. They can provide guidance and discuss any necessary precautions or modifications to your dental care routine.
  3. Maintain oral hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily to remove plaque and debris from between your teeth and along the gum line.
  4. Use alcohol-free mouthwash: Rinse your mouth with alcohol-free mouthwash to help control bacteria buildup and maintain oral hygiene. Avoid using mouthwashes that contain alcohol, as they can cause dryness and irritation.
  5. Stay hydrated: Chemotherapy and other treatments might cause dry mouth, which can increase the risk of dental issues. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and consider using saliva substitutes if necessary.
  6. Avoid tobacco and alcohol: Smoking and alcohol consumption can further irritate oral tissues and impair immune function. It’s advisable to quit smoking and limit alcohol intake during your cancer treatment.
  7. Watch for oral side effects: Some cancer treatments can cause oral side effects such as mouth sores, inflammation, or infection. Be vigilant and report any issues to your healthcare team promptly for appropriate management.
  8. Moisturize lips and oral tissues: Use a lip balm or moisturizer to prevent dry, cracked lips. Saliva substitutes or artificial saliva products might also be recommended to alleviate dry mouth symptoms.
  9. Nutritious diet: Maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet to support your oral and overall health. Opt for soft or pureed foods if chewing becomes challenging during treatment.
  10. Communication is key: Keep an open line of communication with your healthcare team, including your oncologist and dentist. Inform them of any oral health concerns or changes, and follow their recommendations for optimal care.

Remember, every cancer journey is unique, so it’s essential to seek personalized advice from your healthcare professionals. They can provide tailored guidance based on your specific diagnosis, treatment plan, and overall health condition.

By Sue