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Why should I take care of my teeth if I am undergoing cancer treatment?

During cancer therapy, whether surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, poor oral hygiene leads to growth of oral bacteria. This can initiate dental caries (cavities) and periodontal disease (gum infection). This causes pain and possibly the loss of teeth.
The lining of your mouth and throat is composed of rapidly growing cells that are very sensitive to cancer treatment, infection, poor protein or fluid intake, or alcohol/tobacco use. Good mouth care is important while you are being treated in order to reduce your risk of infections.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.