Ask a Dentist

April 28, 2023

Q: Dr. Simpson, What’s The Importance Of Oral Care To Cancer Patients?

Portrait of Dr. Linda Simpson

To commemorate Oral Cancer awareness month, we spoke with one of our dentists, Dr. Linda Simpson, about the importance of oral care for cancer patients. Those with cancer often struggle with chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue. Because of this, Dr. Simpson wants to help cancer patients by raising awareness of the different oral care products that can help alleviate any pain or discomfort in the mouth. 

“I am very passionate about oral cancer screening and relieving oral symptoms for those dealing with all types of cancer. When cancer patients come to me, they often don’t have any appetite, they tire easily, they get dizzy and sometimes they even have brain fog. I want to help them get relief in their mouth so that there’s one less thing they have to worry about,” she explained. 

What Are Some Products We Offer At The Clinic For Cancer Patients? 

Dr. Simpson said that the main oral problems to look out for in cancer patients are mouth sores and dry mouth. Mouth sores or ulcers make it difficult for patients to eat and talk. On the other hand, dry mouth is often a result of radiation or chemotherapy. When left untreated, it can lead to tooth decay and bad breath

“Both of our clinics offer oral products that are sold at a lower cost. Our goal is to make them easily accessible to all patients, not to make a profit. Not all pharmacies carry the products we offer, so it’s convenient to find them at our office.”

Some products we offer are:

  • Gengigel - Provides relief from mouth sores and supports the natural healing process.
  • XyliMelts - Stimulates salivation day and night while improving the oral pH.
  • Opti-Rinse - Helps with dry mouth by offering a powerful antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Remin Toothpaste - Helps remineralize tooth enamel.

These products are free of artificial additives so they are well received by those with sensitivities. 

Helping Patients Overcome Oral Cancer 

Dental Image Therapy Centres can offer a VELscope scan during a checkup and cleaning to check for any abnormalities in the mouth. We shine a fluorescent light into your mouth to detect any abnormalities in the cheeks, the roof of the mouth (called the palate), the floor of the mouth, the tongue and the tonsils. All soft tissues are examined thoroughly to screen for any abnormalities. This process is painless and done by our amazing Dr. Simpson herself. If she does detect anything suspicious, she’ll refer you to an oral surgeon for further consultation. 

“Oral care is important not only to keep your teeth healthy but also to promote great systemic health. When patients find out they have cancer, we want to make sure they already have a good foundation for treatment, as we know that many adverse oral side effects can occur due to radiation and chemotherapy. We want to make it easier for patients as they deal with a stressful situation,” said Dr. Simpson.

Make an appointment with us as soon as possible if you notice lacy white patches or painful sores in your mouth. It’s best to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis because these conditions can cause lesions and discomfort, and eventually lead to oral cancer. 

Book a checkup with Dr. Simpson today at our Garden City clinic to reduce your risk of oral cancer and for recommendations on oral care products for cancer patients. 

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