San Ramon Cosmetic Dentistry Blog | Sean Michael Anderson, D.D.S.

San Ramon, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek and Dublin, CA

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Oral Health During Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancer. These drugs kill cancer cells, but they may also harm normal cells, including cells in the mouth. Side effects include problems with your teeth and gums (the soft, moist lining of your mouth) and the glands that make saliva (spit). The side effects from chemotherapy can hurt and make it hard to eat, talk, and swallow

A few side effects that can manifest in your mouth from chemotherapy are listed below but are not limited to the ones listed. Side effects vary from person to person. Problems depend on the chemotherapy drugs and how your body reacts to them. You may have these problems only during treatment or for a short time after treatment ends.

Most common side effects are:

Painful mouth and gums.

Dry mouth.

Burning, peeling, or swelling tongue.


Change in taste.


People may be surprised that your dentist is important in your cancer treatment. If you go to the dentist before chemotherapy begins, one can help prevent serious mouth problems. Side effects often happen because a person’s mouth is not healthy before chemotherapy starts. Not all mouth problems can be avoided but the fewer side effects one has, the more likely they will be able to remain on their cancer treatment schedule.


Before starting treatment, one should see the dentist at least one month prior, if possible, before chemotherapy begins. If you have already started chemotherapy and didn’t go to a dentist, see one as soon as possible or as recommended by your Oncologist.


A dental hygienist plays an important role as well. They will screen teeth and health of the gum tissues prior to chemotherapy, during, and after treatment has been completed. It is important to have an accurate time line of the health of all hard and soft tissue during this period. A dental hygienist will…


Check and clean teeth.

Take necessary x-rays.

Take care of mouth problems.

Show patients how to take care of their mouth to prevent side effects


We understand this time is a difficult one for not only the person going through cancer treatment. We hope we can help make the treatment process as smooth and comfortable as possible and get our patients in a healthy remission.

posted by Unknown at 3:32 PM


Sean Michael Anderson, D.D.S
Neuromuscular & Aesthetic Cosmetic Dentistry

1501 Bollinger Canyon Road Suite G
San Ramon, CA 94583

Disclaimer: San Ramon, CA cosmetic dentist Dr. Sean Anderson's website only provides information on cosmetic dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry, and family dentistry in Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton , Walnut Creek
and the San Ramon area south of San Francisco. This information is not to be taken as medical advice.
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