Dear Members of the support group,
For 12years after treatment I consistently maintain a good oral hygiene using sensodyne , flossing etc.. However from about the 8th year onwards my gums began to recede , sensitivity got worse , gums were turning pale and bled easily. I guessed this deterioration has began as far back as when I finished the treatment. Then the doctors did not give any warning concerning this or any information related to Oral hygiene . Ironically at a talk which I initiated at the support group on oral care and hygiene for npc patients , I learnt clearly the cause and effects of radiotherapy on gums . I learnt about biotene gel , paste and saliva substitutes. .Now after a period of consistent application , the bleeding has stopped, the sensitivity has reduced and the gums looks much better. A recent visit to consult my dentist also showed that there might be a decay in one of my tooth in an xray taken . Scaling too has become a challenge cos of the sensitivity of the teeth
It has been 20 years after treatment and I find that one of the side effects that I have to be content with is still the dryness of the mouth and problems relating to oral matters . I believed that this is one area that I need to be on my toes . Therefore I have consistently maintained a good followup program with my Dental Doctor who will monitor any changes knowing my history of NPC
I believe too that most of us do experience various degree of post radio side effects of the oral cavity . What are the long term implications for the survivors with damage salivary glands , how about saliva substitutes, problems with gums, sensitivities of the teeth , can one remove a decay tooth ? if a tooth can't be extracted what are the options available ? When does one do a root cannel treatment ? Why do we need to avoid using mouth gargle with alcohol ? Can constant use of the chewing gums help to stimulate the salivary gums ? When I consume fruits like strawberry , pineapples , why do my teeth feel more sensitive after I eat fruits like strawberry , pineapples or even after eating chocolates ..? What are the latest oral products available in the market ? ……All these questions highlight some of the problems that we survivors face. If any of you have queries concerning your oral health please do email me your questions so that I can forward it to Dr Shawn Goh .
Our speaker Dr Shawn Goh spoke to us on the same topic last year and we have invited him back because from the survey taken members benefited much because of his clear , concise and humourous way in sharing the information .
See you on the 3rd March. Admission is free.
Mr. Peter Tang