Sunday, April 19, 2009

Don't forget your teeth

      I have bladder damage from surgery and radiation. Among other things, I was prescribed Ditropan, which makes my mouth as dry as the Dust Bowl. I've been eating candy and chewing gum. Some nights my mouth is so dry that I fear the parts will stick together. Sometimes I go back to sleep with a cough drop in my mouth. It would be sad if I survived metastatic sarcoma only to choke to death on a cough drop.
       I finally called my dentist's office, and the staff recommended various products (mostly by Biotene) that would relieve my dry mouth, especially at night, without causing cavities or other damage. Apparently, a lot of older denture-wearers know about these products, but I didn't.
       I did know that it's good to get your teeth cleaned before starting treatment, such as chemo, in case you can't during treatment, and to get your teeth checked more often. 
       All of this reminds me of a lesson that I need to keep learning: We have to be our own advocates. We have to be our own case managers. We need to check drug interactions and side effects. And if something is bothering us, we need to ask around for relief.
      -- Suzie Siegel

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dry Mouth can have significant effects on the teeth. Xylitol can help this. Chewing gum can increase saliva too

ARM & HAMMER® Age Defying Toothpaste
is a good toothpaste also. It has a liquid calcium formula that most toothpaste lacks. These are both inexpensive ways to keep your teeth.