• Uid Uid
    August 02, 2009
    Dental problems after chemotherapy & radiation
    Uid Uid
    August 02, 2009

    Has anyone experienced dental problems after undergoing chemo & radiation?  My

    treatments after a lumpectomy last year were chemo & radiation which took most of

    2008.  This year, I am having problems with infections under root canals and crowns and will have to have 2 of these extracted.  I'm wondering if the treatments caused any of this? 

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Phyllis Johnson
    Health Guide
    August 03, 2009
    Phyllis Johnson
    Health Guide
    August 02, 2009

    Uld, yes, the chemo could have contributed to your dental problems.  This post on Chemo and Your Teeth explains why it's a good idea to see a dentist before chemo starts.  It's too late at this point to help you, but you can pass the word along to other people you know getting ready to start chemo about how important it is to see a dentist.  Do keep in mind, however, that you might have needed these procedures even without chemo, and without the treatments, you might not have been around to have trouble with your teeth.

    • cva66
      February 13, 2010
      cva66
      February 13, 2010

      I'm addressing this issue on behalf of my wife. She had a lumpectomy followed by five weeks of radiation, no chemo.

      Most of the responses are about chemo related problems. Do you folks see a link between radiation treatments and dental problems?

       

      Thanks, and the best of luck to you all.

       

      Walt

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    • PJ Hamel
      February 13, 2010
      PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      February 13, 2010

      Hi Walt - Found this on another site:

      "Dental problems can arise following radiation treatment (without chemotherapy). It is not clear why, possibly because radiation treatment compromises the immune system’s ability to deal with dental bacteria and possibly due to residual radiation, notwithstanding the capacity of more recent radiation delivery to be more specifically targeted. I have been advised by my dentist (too late to protect myself unfortunately) that steps can be taken to protect teeth during radiation treatment. Use a higher fluoride toothpaste; and a mouthwash with added fluoride and ensure your comprehnsive tooth care is maintained."

       

      Hope this helps - PJH

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    • DEBBIE
      November 02, 2010
      DEBBIE
      November 02, 2010

      HI WALT,

       

            I JUST LEARNED OF THIS WEBSITE DUE TO MY DENTAL PROBLEMS THAT APPEAR TO BE RELATED TO TO THE RADIATION I HAD. I TOO AM TRYING TO FIND ACTUAL STUDIES THAT HAVE BEEN DONE,  SO FAR NO LUCK WITH ACTUAL STUDIES.  I PLAN TO CALL THE RADIOLOGY DEPT, AT UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA TO SEE IF I CAN GET A LEAD. ALTHOUGH AT THIS TIME, I DO ONOT BELIEVE ANY RADIOLOGIST WILL AGREE OR TESTIFY THAT DENTAL ISSUES ARE DEFINITELY A SIDE EFFECT OF RADIATION. IF I GET ANY INFORMATION I WILL CERTAINLY PASS IT ON.   DEBBIE

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY

  • Linda Benitez November 08, 2009
    Linda Benitez
    August 02, 2009

    I have had trouble after Chemotherapy also with my teeth.  They are splintering and chipping on a constant basis.  I am going to see my primary care doctor to talk to him about the possibility of medical coverage to cover the damage done by cancer and cancer treatments on my teeth and gums and lack of saliva.  I am down to 1 molar to chew on and many missing teeth.  

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    • PJ Hamel
      November 08, 2009
      PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      November 08, 2009

      Good luck with the insurance coverage, Linda - the last thing we need, battling cancer, is money/insurance issues on top of that... PJH

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  • BJ
    BJ
    August 18, 2009
    BJ
    BJ
    August 02, 2009

    Yes.  I was diagnosed in 2007, had lumpectomy then chemotherapy, then Herceptin for 12 months.  After completing all this treatment in February of this year I need three root canals.  Have had one and two to go.  

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  • Indygirl October 26, 2010
    Indygirl
    August 02, 2009

    I had breast cancer in 2009 - total mastectomy with Chemotherapy. It is now late 2010 and I am having all kinds of problems with my teeth.   I now need at least 3 root canals.  I can't afford it so I'm probably going to have to have them pulled. I think I've lost enough body parts thank you very much. My Mother also had breast cancer and chemotherapy and she also had problems with her teeth afterwards.  I agree that medical insurance should cover this. A root canal with the crown you need after the root canal costs approximatley $2,000!

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    • DEBBIE
      November 02, 2010
      DEBBIE
      November 02, 2010

      I LOST ALL MY TOP TEETH ANS HALF MY BOTTOM TEETH .  ALMOST CERTAIN THAT IT HAPPENED FROM BREAST RADIATION FOLLOWING A LUMPECTOMY.  SURGERY WAS IN 2006 AND TOP TEETH FELLOUT IN 2008. BECAUSE OF A FLAT PALATE AND LACK OF SALIVA I CAN NOT WEAR A DENTURE.  THREE WEEKS AGO I HAD TO HAVE 4 TEETH PULLED. HAD A FLIPPER MAD TO FILL THE SPACE AND NOW I CAN'T CLOSE MY MOUTH.  THE WHOLE MOUTH NEEDS IMPLANTS.  I HAVE BECOME A SOCIAL ISOLATE.  ON THE BOTTOM. I ONLY GO OUT TO SEE DOCTORS AND DENTISTS. RIGHY NOW I HAVE AN INFECTION AND NEED A ROOT CANAL IN ONE OF MY REMAINING 8 TEETH. I AM OUT OF MONEY.  YES, THIS SHOULD DEFINITELY BE COVERED,

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    • PJ Hamel
      November 02, 2010
      PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      November 02, 2010

      Debbie, please see my reply to your posted question. I'm really sorry you're having to go through this... cancer takes enough, without robbing you of your teeth and your confidence, too. I hope you're able to get some help with this. Perhaps our post on financial resources will give you somewhere to start. Good luck - PJH

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