How Breast Cancer Treatment Can Affect Your Teeth

How to Help Your Future Self Keep Your Oral Health Better and Longer

All cancers are terrible. Not only can it affect everyone around us, but it never seems to just affect a single area. Not only is your body hurting, but the treatment for it isn’t fun either. Something that isn’t often talked about is how breast cancer treatment can affect your teeth.

People under treatment for breast cancer need to be especially careful with their teeth because both chemotherapy and bone-strengthening drugs called bisphosphonates can lead to dental problems. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s take a look at the ways treatment for breast cancer can affect your teeth:

Before starting chemotherapy, it is important to see your dentist for a routine check-up and cleaning because you probably won’t be able to go during these treatments. Not only will your body be depleted, but your immune system will be lowered, and your oncologist may be concerned that bleeding gums during even a routine cleaning could allow the introduction of germs into your system. While you’re there, discuss whether you should use a fluoride rinse during treatment as many dentists recommend.

If you suffer from nausea or a bad taste in your mouth while on chemo, remember that some of the typical cure-alls aren’t that great for your teeth. Hard candy, ginger ale and popsicles during chemo are great for handling nausea, but aren’t so fantastic on our teeth. Talk to your doctor about the best way to prevent nausea without damaging your teeth.

Breast cancer can make other concerns like dental care seem trivial, but it is important to keep your teeth healthy. You are going to need them for a long time after you finish treatment.

If you have questions or concerns about dental hygiene during cancer treatment, make an appointment today with Dr. Farless at 336-282-2868 or visit our website at

Dr. Farless also proudly serves Greensboro, Brown Summit, Jamestown, High Point, McLeansville, Summerfield and all surrounding areas.