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Managing Your Medical Care: Breast Cancer: Once A Treatment Decision Is Made

Get An Oral Check-Up And Take Care Of Any Problems.

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  • Speak with your cancer doctor about possible oral complications from your treatment and what, if anything, your dentist should focus on prior to treatment.
  • Get a dental check-up and evaluation. 
    • Get an examination of your mouth, teeth and jawbone to check for potential problems that may arise during treatment. Tell the dentist you are about to have treatment for breast cancer and tell him or her the treatment(s) you have agreed to.
    • If you have issues that could become a problem during treatment, take care of them now. Find out from your dentist how much time is needed for your mouth to heal properly. It is preferable for healing to be complete before treatment begins.
    • Mention to your dentist the risks for oral complications your cancer doctor told you about.
  • Practice good oral hygiene. It will reduce your chances of getting tooth decay, mouth sores and, most important, infections. Experts recommend that you brush your teeth after every meal and at bedtime. Use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride in it.  Floss once a day.

If your doctor recommends that you speak with a dental oncologist

A dental oncologist is a dentist who is trained in dental and oral care for people with cancer. You can locate a dental oncologist through any of the following:

  • A referral from your cancer doctor.
  • National Cancer Institute offsite link or Tel.: 800.422.6237.
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network, offsite link, or Tel.: 215.690.0300.

Use the same technique to find the right dental oncologist as is recommended for choosing any medical specialist. See "To Learn More."

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