Having white teeth has become something that everyone aspires to. Not only does it matter how healthy and strong your teeth are, but it is also very important what they look like. When you have had chemotherapy treatment for cancer, you may find your focus shifts onto your teeth.
Chemotherapy can lead to problems with your teeth
When you undergo treatment for cancer that involved chemotherapy, you experience nausea and vomiting as a reaction to the harshness of the drugs. The vomit is very acidic and may lead to problems with your teeth. Another of the side effects of chemotherapy is a dry mouth. Less saliva in your mouth means that the plaque that usually builds up after you have eaten is not washed away quite so efficiently. This may eventually lead to decay and even damage of the enamel coating of your teeth.
Whiter teeth can help you to feel better about your appearance after chemotherapy
When you have finished your chemotherapy treatment, you will need to take time to recover. This may take anything from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the length of the treatment. Once you are beginning to feel a little more back to normal, you will find your attention shifting to your appearance, which will include what your mouth looks like.
You lose control of your body during chemo, so the opportunity to be able to improve the look of your teeth by having them whitened can help you to develop a sense of being in control of at least part of your appearance.
Methods to whiten your teeth
Abrasives may be used on teeth to remove stains. These may begin to damage the enamel after a time, which means that your teeth will not be so effectively protected from decay. Hydrogen peroxide is also used, sometimes with bicarbonate of soda, which can also be harmful to the enamel of your teeth.
After chemotherapy, it is better to avoid methods of whitening your teeth that may further damage the enamel. An effective way of whitening your teeth that can actually help them to be stronger is to have veneers put on. These are thin layers that cover the visible surface of your teeth.
Veneers offer more than simply whitening teeth
A veneer can be any colour that you choose, specifically being graded to fit in which the colour of your other teeth.
Veneers not only change the colour of your teeth, but can be used to mask severe fillings, or the marks made by amalgam fillings over time. They can also make chipped or broken teeth look even and close the space between teeth.
You may find that, after chemo, some of your teeth may have shifted slightly, resulting in slightly increased gaps between them. Veneers can be used to cover these gaps.