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Post Cancer Oral Care

For young patients, the good news on cancer is that 70 percent or more of children who develop cancer during childhood can now be cured.

Learn about a host of “late effects" which you as a dentist must communicate with childhood cancer survivors—and their caregivers. Dentists will see patients who’ve survived childhood cancer who present with second malignancies of the head and neck, gingivitis and periodontitis, increased caries and abnormalities of the teeth and craniofacial structure.

Watch out for high rates of root stunting, microdontia, hypodontia, taurodontia, and over-retention of primary teeth among children who were treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Dentists should look for include “primary disease or, potentially, a second malignant neoplasm. Look for evidence of a new mass, or unexplained tooth loosening, which could reflect a metastatic lesion that does not seem to be caused by another dental problem. Flag any unexplained pain the dentist can’t identify.