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Dental hygiene - Once radiated twice shy or escaping by the skin of our teeth!

Our July meeting was both insightful and informative, featuring a special guest, Marg, a dental oncologist from Peter Mac. Marg spoke about the crucial role of dental hygiene following treatment for head and neck cancers, underscoring the importance of regular dental check-ups. These check-ups are essential as they help in early detection of dental issues that could arise due to the treatment, allowing for prompt intervention and care.


Marg highlighted how patients who have been treated for a head and neck cancer are at a higher risk for dental cavities due to the side effects of treatment. The reduction in saliva production, which is common for many of us, can sometimes lead to an increase in cavities and other dental problems. To combat this, she stressed the necessity of using high fluoride toothpaste. This type of toothpaste can help in strengthening the enamel and protecting teeth from decay, providing an additional layer of defence for those at increased risk.


One of the critical points Marg made was regarding dental implants. While implants can be a solution for missing teeth, she advised caution. The risk of complications is higher for cancer patients, making it imperative to have thorough discussions with dental professionals before proceeding with implants.


Dry mouth is another common issue faced by patients after head and neck cancer treatments. Marg shared a simple yet effective remedy: using coconut oil. Coconut oil can be used as a natural moisturizer, providing relief and helping to manage the discomfort associated with dry mouth.


We had 23 members in attendance this month, including 4 new members and two carers. As always, new faces brought fresh perspectives and experiences, and generated fantastic discussion. We are always thrilled to welcome new members, as their stories and journeys add to the collective knowledge and support we offer each other.


The meeting was a dynamic and engaging session. Members shared their personal experiences and tips, creating a warm and supportive environment. This sense of community is what makes our group so special, as we all navigate the challenges and triumphs together.


Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the enriching conversation. We look forward to seeing you at our next gathering on the 26th July as part of World Head and Neck Cancer month - register here.

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