Good oral health is essential when you have cancer. Here are three ways to keep your mouth clean (and your body healthy).
For those with cancer, or recently recovering from it, regular trips to your dentist are just as important as visiting your other doctors. In fact, the American Dental Association says to consider your dentist a part of your cancer care team.
Dental care is vital with a cancer diagnosis because many oral health issues can arise alongside cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Because these treatments lower the immune system, patients are more susceptible to infections in the mouth. Chemotherapy and radiation also have uncomfortable side effects like Dry Mouth that can complicate your treatment program.
Unlike cancer, your oral health is something you have control over. You can take steps to prevent infections and keep your mouth as healthy as possible, giving you more energy and stamina to focus on what you need to focus on: fighting cancer.
1. Get rid of plaque.
This is simple but vital. Taking care of plaque through consistent brushing and flossing will keep dangerous bacteria from causing an infection in your mouth -- something that cancer patients can’t afford since their immune systems are often already low.
“The bacteria that make up dental plaque can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, inflammation, pain and infection,” said Jill Meyer-Lippert, a dental hygienist with special training in dental oncology. “A clean mouth reduces the bacterial burden on the body, which is especially important when the immune system is weakened with low blood counts.”
2. Be proactive about Dry Mouth.
Meyer-Lippert also suggests being proactive about Dry Mouth. Dry Mouth is a common side effect of radiation and chemotherapy. For those with cancer, Dry Mouth is not something you want to mess with. A lack of saliva in the mouth can lead to a host of problems, including tooth decay and infections like oral mucositis, which causes painful sores in the mouth.
One of the best and most effective ways to stay proactive about Dry Mouth is to use an oral conditioner. Our oral conditioner, HYDRALIEF™, moisturizes the mouth and helps promote healthy saliva flow.
3. Avoid mouthwashes that contain large amounts of salt or alcohol.
Some may want to go the extra mile to keep your mouth clean by using a mouthwash. That’s great, but be careful which mouthwash you use. The MD Anderson Cancer Center suggests avoiding mouthwashes with a high alcohol or salt content. These can be harsh on the mouth and can cause a burning sensation.
HYDRALIEF™ is an excellent alternative to some of these harsh, commercial mouthwashes. Our formula is made up of natural ingredients and does not contain alcohol or astringents. It cleanses the mouth as much as it moisturizes it, so you can protect yourself from Dry Mouth and bacteria at the same time -- no stinging or burning required.
Don’t let your oral health suffer when you have cancer. Keeping your mouth clean will help keep your body healthy. Visit our product page today to learn more about our HYDRALIEF™ collection and how it can keep your mouth moisturized, clean and free from infection.