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Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal

Abstract

Radiation therapy for oral and nasopharyngeal carcinoma produces direct and indirect changes in the oral cavity. Before such therapy is begun, the cancer patient should be examined by a trained dental specialist so that associated problems such as oral mucositis, xerostomia, radiation dental caries, osteoradionecrosis, and ageusia can be addressed. During and after irradiation therapy as well, the dental specialist should be involved in the treatment program. In this way, it Is possible to maintain the patient's dental system through restorative measures, mandatory use of topical fluorides, dental rinses, and preventive prophylaxis.

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