Neck or throat cancer can be a long process that often involves numerous radiation treatments. If this is the case for you, we would like to help you understand why you may have been advised to have your teeth extracted prior to neck and throat cancer treatments.
First, if you have teeth in the proposed high-dose field of radiation, it is important to consider extraction. If those teeth have deep decay, it is even more important that you have them extracted. If the patient has numerous areas of tooth decay throughout the mouth, it may be advised to extract several teeth prior to neck or throat cancer radiation treatment. Similarly, if the patient has inflammation in their gums or periodontal disease, it may be advised to extract teeth prior to radiation.
The goal of having extractions prior to neck or throat radiation is to reduce the risk of osteonecrosis of the jaws after radiation treatment. Osteonecrosis occurs when the jawbone is exposed and not covered by the gums. The jawbone will eventually starve from a lack of blood.
The thought of having your teeth extracted can be troubling. However, we are here to help you process why that may be needed and then walk with you every step of the way if you do need extractions prior to neck or throat cancer treatments. If you are unsure whether you need extractions as it relates to neck or throat cancer, we are happy to help. Give our office a call today to schedule your next dental cleaning and exam.
We look forward to working with you to find the most viable solution.