Booked in to see the Hospital Prosthodontics Dentist

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Hi everyone

Just a little update since my neck dissection - 3 weeks in. The horror scar is healing nicely but I have a lot of numbness and a droopy mouth. However, the good news is my consultant is confident that they removed all the cancer cells BUT as a 'belt and braces' approach they are recommending I have adjuvant RT. I am not going to lie from what I have read RT sounds horrendous BUT (again) if it reduces the chance of the cancer coming back then I don't really have a choice.

Anyhow.....I have an Oncologist now who tells me that I need to see a specialist dentist, he didn't really say much about it, citing that I must be overwhelmed with information? So I read up about it and now I am worried they will find problems with my teeth and I will have to have them removed - just another torture treatment to deal with.

Is this something people do not talk about as I not seen it mentioned on any head or neck forums?

Thanks

Dawn

  • Hi Dawn

    T2N1M0 Tonsil cancer HPV16+finished chemoradio June 2023

    Treatment is very challenging but manageable....

    I had wrap-around  dental X-ray then 3 molars extracted....scrape and polish thrown in for good measure....free of charge!

    They have to make sure there are going to be no problems with teeth during radiotherapy.

    Take care and best of luck 

    Peter 

  • Hi Dawn. I was given a fluoride toothpaste which I started about 6 weeks before treatment started. I’m still using it 3 months post treatment. I  now will see the hygienist every three months. However, before treatment started, I saw the dentist and it was suggested I have my wisdom teeth removed. They were not serving a purpose and the upper ones had been removed years ago. The dentist said having this done after treatment could be an issue as has already been explained but the big thing is that you may not be able to open your mouth wide enough which could cause issues if you need an extraction. I’m glad I had it done. One less thing to worry about. 

    The treatment is manageable.  Follow all advice given and you’ll be fine. 

  • The dentist said having this done after treatment could be an issue as has already been explained but the big thing is that you may not be able to open your mouth wide enough which could cause issues if you need an extraction.

      This is a good point but don’t worry too much about it. You get exercises to do to prevent this. I will do them for life. My mouth opening is as good as ever. The over riding danger with extractions is osteoradionecrosis which is a lifelong risk. 

    Dani 

    Base of tongue cancer. T2N0M0 6 weeks Radiotherapy finished January 2019

    I wrote a blog about my cancer. just click on the link below 

    https://todaymycoffeetasteslikechristmasincostarica.com 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

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  • Agree, I started my exercises weeks before as well . Thankfully I’ve had no jaw issues . But it’s good to keep the exercises going 

  • Hi I still do mine several times a day at 6 years and now they are automatic part if my life. I’ve had no jaw issues opening wise . A reminder to everyone to continue doing them. 
    Hazel x

    Hazel aka RadioactiveRaz 

    My blog is www.radioactiveraz.wordpress.com  HPV 16+ tonsil cancer Now 5 years  post treatment. 35 radiotherapy 2 chemo T2N2NM.Happily getting on with living always happy to help  

  • Thanks for all the reassurance guys, I appreciate the feedback Heart