Solid Organ or Stem Cell Transplants
and the Head, Neck and Mouth
Solid organ and hematopoeitic stem cell transplants may be associated with oral side effects. To help your body accept the transplant, your oncology team will place you on certain immunosuppressive medications that will lower your immune system. These drugs will put you at an increased risk for developing infections, including oral infections. It is recommended that you visit a dental/oral oncologist before undergoing a transplant to reduce your risk of developing oral infections and other associated side effects.
What type of side effects are associated with solid organ and stem cell transplants?
Dry mouth and altered salivary flow which may increase your risk for developing dental decay (cavities)
Painful gums and painful mouth
Jaw stiffness and trismus (reduced mouth opening)
Oral graft verus host disease (GVHD)
Why visiting a dentist before receiving a solid organ or stem cell transplant is important:
An essential member of the oncology team, a dental oncologist is an important health care provider to visit prior to your stem cell transplant. Eliminating any sources of infection and ensuring that your mouth is healthy may help prevent the development of head, neck and oral side effects associated with a stem cell or bone marrow transplant and/or may help reduce their severity.
Why visiting a dental oncologist and orofacial pain specialist after receiving a solid organ or stem cell transplant is important:
Visiting a dental oncologist after receiving a stem cell transplant is important to reduce the risk of developing infections and other complications associated with transplants.