By Susan Braden
Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy should pay special attention to their oral hygiene and protect their health with cheap dental care. Researchers have discovered a link between the two that could mean a quicker recovery. If oral health is neglected, however, the patient’s health could be jeopardized.
Chemotherapy treats disease by sending toxic chemicals primarily through the veins to kill cancerous cells. This process is very hard on the body, and it also takes its toll on other similar cell structures like bone marrow, hair follicles and the digestive tract. It also weakens the immune system and can cause excessive bleeding. The only cheap option is to take as many preventative measures as possible to protect body from additional illness.
While fighting cancer, chemotherapy makes the body fragile and easily susceptible to infection. It weakens the bones, which includes the teeth and jaw structure. When the teeth become weak, they decay more easily, producing a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. Since the body is weak and the immune system is fragile at this time, infection can spread rapidly and do some serious damage.
Dentists recommend that these affected patients use an alcohol-free antibacterial rinse to kill germs in the mouth and wash trapped food from between the teeth. They also recommend brushing regularly with specialized toothpaste and a cheap soft-bristle brush. Patients should avoid using products that dry the mouth, because without saliva continually washing inside of the mouth, bacteria can grow more easily. Proper brushing and flossing habits help prevent the buildup of plaque.
Careful attention to oral health can help improve a person’s general well-being. For someone receiving cancer treatment, it can mean much more than that. Oncologists will tell chemotherapy patients not to go to the dentist until treatment is complete, but patients can take steps to maintain cheap dental health until then.