Hi. My name is Dr. Robert Antolak, the owner and president of  The Gentle Dentist located out in Shelby Township, Michigan. What’s a really important topic is for people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Cancer, especially head and neck cancer, is something that is fairly prevalent. And one very important facet of when someone has been diagnosed with cancer and they’re supposed to be having either radiation therapy or  chemotherapy is to go on and have their dental care taken care of right away, before they start. Especially when they start radiation therapy. Especially if it’s above the head and neck area.

The reason why it’s important to have your dentistry done before you go in for therapy is that the body, because of the fact that radiation is going to end up slowing and even killing off all the salivary glands and the that produce saliva. Saliva is important to keep your mouth hydrated and wet, which prevents cavities. It’s also very important because when you do that, you can get a ton of pain in your mouth. And an infection that’s very very common for people who have had oral cancer, and who’ve had treatment with that. So,  if a tooth has to come out, because it’s a bad tooth, we need to extract it before starting into therapy. Because once they start the therapy, your body’s immunity is really suppressed. You don’t have that ability to, to heal like you can. So, if teeth ever have to be removed afterwards, it’s a nightmare, it’s very difficult and it’s pretty risky, for having much more signifigant problems after that. So, when we do that we can, we can either extract your teeth, and the beauty of our office is we do, I do all phases of dentistry. So we can extract the necessary teeth if you need fillings on teeth we can do that, if we need to clean them we want to get that done very quickly after you’ve been diagnosed and then after that point on you can get your therapy doneand then work it out so that things are much more manageable at that point.

There’s a couple things that are important to know to aid in the problems with the dry mouth even afterwords is to use sugarless products, drink plenty of water, make sure you use fluorides that help to refluoridate your teeth, and avoid soda pop. That’s really a bad thing, that your mouth is dry. So you have to do these necessary things.

The key is to get in before you start your chemotherapy or radiation therapy. So our dental office is located in Shelby Township, Michigan and our phone number is 586-247-3500 and our website is thegentledentist.com. Thank you and have a blessed day.