Acupuncture at the Dental Office?
Eastern medicine may be finding its way into the dental office and for good reason. An increasing number of studies are beginning to support that acupuncture may prove to be helpful for dental patients to treat various conditions ranging from xerostomia (dry mouth) after chemoradiation therapy to orofacial pain to nausea and dental phobia. What is acupuncture? One of the oldest forms of chinese medicine, acupuncture is believed to have started as early as 100 BC. This eastern
Top 8 Foods To Avoid When Your Mouth is Dry
There are several etiologies for dry mouth, including medications and cancer therapy such as radiation treatment to the head and neck or high dose chemotherapy. Dry mouth may be extremely uncomfortable and knowing which foods to eat and which foods to avoid can help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort associated with dry mouth. 1. Sharp and crunchy foods. Avoid crunchy breads such as baguettes, chips, or pizza crusts. These foods can scrape or cut your mouth and may be
Got Dry Mouth?
Xerostomia, the medical term for dry mouth, is a common side effect of head and neck radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Radiation doses of 25 Gy or greater are associated with reduced salivary flow and function. Saliva acts as a natural buffer in the oral cavity, bathing the oral tissues and teeth. Thus, reduced salivary flow can result in an increased risk for dental decay (cavities). Tips to Combat Dry Mouth Hydrate hydrate hydrate. Drinking fluids (water is best) will hel
Managing and Treating the Side Effects of Head and Neck Radiation Therapy
Mucositis Mucositis usually resolves once therapy is completed. Prophylactic measures may help reduce the severity and duration of mucositis. This includes maintaining good oral hygiene and rinsing with sodium bicarbonate solution (baking soda and water), even before mucositis develops. Additionally, avoiding spicy, hot, and acidic foods may help reduce the severity and duration of mucositis. It is recommended that one brushes with a mild toothpaste when experiencing mucositi
How Does Chemotherapy Affect Oral and Dental Health?
Although there are side effects associated with chemotherapy, it is important to note that the side effects typically resolve when patients end their treatment. To oversimplify chemotherapy, it interferes with the metabolism and reproduction of tumor cells also known as neoplastic cells. In the process of altering the metabolism and reproduction of these cells, chemotherapy also affects other rapidly dividing cells in the body including the cells responsible for defending the
The Oral and Dental Conditions Associated with Stem Cell Transplants: A Closer Look
Indubitably, hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) are lifesaving and have transformed the field of medicine. Hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) may involve either the transfer of stem cells from one individual to another, known as an allogeneic HSCT or the return of the harvested cells to the same person known as an autologous HSCT. Nonetheless, these treatments are linked to orofacial conditions mainly due to the immunosuppressive nature of the pre-transplant t
Head and Neck Radiation Basics: What to Expect
A cancer diagnosis is indubitably stressful, life-altering and overwhelming. Cancer not only affects us physically but it also influences us psychologically. And, in the midst of dealing with a diagnosis, you may struggle with understanding new medical jargon, learning about seemingly foreign treatment modalities and handling myriad appointments with different specialists. This basic guide may aid you in understanding radiation therapy as it applies to the head and neck and w
If the exact radiation dosage is not known, what are some signs that an area has received high doses
There are several signs associated with high doses of radiation therapy to the head and neck. These include loss of facial hair growth, profound xerostomia (dry mouth), tissue induration, and taste loss. Patients sometimes experience mucosal telangiectasia, characterized by small dilated blood vessels along the mucosa inside the mouth. Often, a quick marker of where the radiation was delivered can be detected by noticing where a man’s beard line has stopped. #radiationtherap
What are some of the side effects of head and neck radiation?
Xerostomia/Hyposalivation Xerostomia is the medical term for the sensation of dry mouth. Hyposalivation signifies a reduction in salivary flow and is an objective, measurable entity. Radiation therapy affecting the head and neck where the salivary glands are in field of radiation is associated with salivary gland atrophy. Radiation doses of 25 Gy or greater are associated with hyposalivation, reduced salivary flow and function. In addition to reduced flow, the saliva produced