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Some childhood cancer treatments can cause problems with teeth and facial bone development later in life.
These treatments include:
Survivors younger than 5 years old at the time of treatment are often at a higher risk because their permanent teeth have not fully formed.
Possible dental problems include:
Some childhood cancer survivors may also be at risk for oral cancer. These include patients who:
Signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:
If any of these signs and symptoms occur, contact a local dentist for a consultation.
It is especially important for childhood cancer survivors to take excellent care their teeth and gums.
Poor dental habits can lead to cavities, gum disease, and infection in the bones that support tooth roots.
Patients who received radiation therapy to the mouth may need to visit an orthodontist, who can help address teeth alignment or skull or facial problems.
Regular dental care is particularly important for survivors of childhood cancer. It should include:
Survivors with the certain health conditions should also ask their dentist about taking special precautions, including antibiotics, to avoid infection when having dental work done. Conditions include:
Other conditions survivors should inform their dentist about include:
Survivors can be treated for dental problems:
|Permanent teeth that do not develop normally
||Caps or crowns
|Poor bone growth in the face or jaw
|Difficulty opening the mouth (trismus) or scarring and hardening of jaw muscles (fibrosis)
|Malformed or small teeth
||Bonding (a thin coating of plastic material on the front surface of the teeth)
|Dry mouth (xerostomia). (Related problems may include persistent sore throat, burning sensation in mouth and gums, problems speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, or dry nasal passages.)
Reviewed: June 2018