Did you know that there is a relationship between oral hygiene and cancer?

Gum Disease and Breast Cancer

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you should know that at least one study has shown that postmenopausal women with gum disease had higher incidences of breast cancer than those without gum disease, as reported in the journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The risk was even greater for women who also smoke.

Oral Care During Cancer Treatment

Treatment for any type of cancer affects the whole body, including all parts of the mouth and throat and can cause swelling, mouth sores, bleeding gums and difficulty swallowing, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The center offers some tips for these issues:

• See your dentist before beginning cancer treatment and have dental work done then if possible.

• Swallowing can be a problem due to dry mouth. Try eating soft food that is not too hot nor too cold, and dip dry foods in liquids like sauces or gravies.

• Avoid alcohol, tobacco, spicy foods, acidic food including fruits/juices.

• Sip water throughout the day. LImit sugary beverages that cause tooth decay.

• If you’re not eating well, try smaller meals every two or three hours instead of three big meals.

• Tell your doctor if you have mouth pain or trouble eating, or if you develop a fever over 100.4 degrees.

Always tell your dentist if you have upcoming cancer treatment. For an appointment with a caring dentist, contact Del Norte Dental at 520-625-7224.