4420 Conlin Street, Suite 204, Metairie, LA 70006 | Phone (504) 456-0964

Radiation Therapy

Radiation treatment to the head and neck region presents many dental challenges. Some changes to the oral environment will occur immediately and others later. Early on, you may experience dermatitis, mucositis, and partially or severely reduced salivary flow with resulting xerostomia (dry-mouth). Other minor affects, such as pressure & temperature sensitivities, unpleasant odor and taste, bleeding, tenderness, plaque accumulation. A major concern is a susceptibility to rapid tooth decay. We can help guide you through this.

Step 1: Exam, Cleaning, and X-rays Prior to Radiation Therapy

We recommend a thorough exam to ensure that all dental needs are identified and treated prior to radiation. 

Step 2: Complete necessary Dental Treatment and Fabrication of Fluoride Gel Tray Carriers

We will give you a prescription strength fluoride gel for your trays and prescription fluoride toothpaste for morning use. We recommend a non-alcoholic mouthwash, such as Crest ProHealth for mid-day use. 

Step 3: Dietary Counseling

You will need to alter your diet to softer, less spicy, lower sugar (or non-sugar) foods eaten at moderate temperatures and with large amounts of sugar-free liquids with meals. Alcohol and tobacco products must absolutely be avoided. Depending upon severity of xerostomia, we may give you a Pilocarpine prescription to help induce salivary flow. Frequent sipping of water will be very helpful also.

Step 4: Monthly Follow-Up visits to evaluate any changes