A dry mouth due to cancer treatment is an issue that dentists are quite familiar with. The correct technical word for this condition is xerostomia. It is not usually something the doctors will regularly check for, so the main way to tell if a patient has it is if they complain about it. Anyone can get xerostomia of course, but because of the radiation, it is a common side effect for patients that are sick with cancer. Radiation damages and kills cancer cells, but it also damages salivary glands which produce the saliva. Dry mouth due to cancer treatment prevents saliva from lubricating and moisturizing your mouth, making it a very uncomfortable condition.
If a patient has a disease in their lower part of their body, they have a slightly smaller chance of getting xerostomia. Obviously the risk of getting it increases greatly when the radiation is aimed directly at the neck and head area. Although the chances are not as great when the treatment areas are lower on the body, a patient can still suffer with dry mouth due to cancer treatment, no matter where the radiation is focused.
By visiting their dentist, the patient will be able to get some relief from the effects of xerostomia. The dentist can offer the patient some products that will help with this condition. Saliva protects the teeth and is effective for washing away bacteria that causes bad breath. These products are important in maintaining overall oral health when suffering with dry mouth due to cancer treatment.
Please call us locally in the Houston area at 713-795-5905 or toll-free at 888-790-0309, A qualified member of our staff will get with you momentarily and assist you with any need you may have. Medical Center Houston Dentist