Many types of cancer treatment can cause side effects that affect the mouth area. Taking care of your mouth before, during and after treatment will help protect your teeth, mouth lining and gums, reduce discomfort, and help the mouth area heal more quickly.
Learn more about mouth health and cancer
Ask your treatment team
If you are experiencing any issues or if you have any concerns about your mouth health, it is important to tell your treatment team. They may be able to refer to you to an appropriate health professional to help with these issues or concerns.
Health professionals you might see
When you visit a service there are a range of health professionals you may see. There could also be other health professionals you see at this service that are not included below.
Evaluates and treats the mouth and teeth. Dentists can help to manage issues with the mouth and teeth before, during and after cancer treatment.
Helps with nutrition concerns and recommends changes to diet during treatment and recovery.
Helps with communication and swallowing difficulties during treatment and recovery.
Oral health care plan
It is a good idea to see your dentist before you begin your cancer treatment. When you see your dentist, tell them about the type of treatment you will be having so they can develop an oral health care plan.
An oral health care plan sets out any dental work you need before having treatment. It also provides detailed instructions about how to look after your mouth before, during and after treatment to help prevent tooth decay and deal with any oral side effects such as mouth sores.
Questions to ask about this service
When looking at a service it is important to ask questions about how the service works before you decide to engage with them. Below is a list of questions you might like to ask when enquiring about a service.
Am I eligible?
Some services have specific criteria that a person must meet before they are able to use a service, for example location, means testing or a specific cancer type. It is important to know if you are eligible to access a service right from the start.
Do I need a referral?
Some services require a referral from your specialist, GP or a social worker. This helps to make sure that the right patients are being connected with the right services. It’s a good idea to ask if a referral is needed and if so, exactly what type of referral the service requires.
How much will this cost me?
Some services are free, and some come at a cost. At a time when people should be focused on their treatment and recovery, the cost of cancer can be a source of stress and worry for many. It’s a good idea to ask about the fees attached to a service and if there are any subsidies or benefits you might be eligible for before committing to the service. It’s important to know that you are within your rights to ask about the cost of a service or treatment before agreeing to take part. For more information you can visit cancer and your finances.
Is there a wait time?
Sometimes demand for a service is high which can cause wait times. You might find it helpful to ask if there are any wait times for the services you are looking at, especially if you require support as soon as possible.
What services do you offer?
Some organisations provide a range of services for people affected by cancer, their family, friends and carers. It is a good idea to ask about exactly what services are available to you.
Search for a service