Cancer and Dental Health
The common definition of cancer is when abnormal cells divide uncontrollably in the body. The inside of the mouth, and its soft tissue, the tongue, oesophagus, salivary glands, tonsils and at the back of the throat are where oral cancer occurs. It is more likely to occur in men than women who are over 40 years of age.
Chemotherapy and radiation are treatments for cancer, but may also affect the dental health of a patient. The more common symptoms are, difficulty in tasting things, swallowing and chewing, dry mouth, mouth sores, and infections, burning sensations in the throat or mouth and tooth decay. While undergoing treatment for cancer, it is vital that the dentist and the oncologist communicate as this will minimise risks of complications in oral health and maximise the effectiveness of dental care and support.