In addition, radiation therapy, especially in the area of the head and neck, can damage salivary glands which can cause thick, sticky saliva and extreme dry mouth. A dry mouth can increase your chances of tooth decay and infection.
By visiting your dentist prior to your cancer treatment, he or she may be able to treat gum disease, tooth decay or other infections inside your mouth. The health of your mouth is an important part of your overall health. Maintaining it at its best health before, during and after cancer treatment could help lessen some side effects and allow you to focus on your overall healing.
To help you better understand how cancer can affect your dental health, the American Dental Association has three pages devoted to this topic. They are: