Oral health status of 207 head and neck cancer patients before, during and after radiotherapy

Clin Oral Investig. 2008 Mar;12(1):19-24. doi: 10.1007/s00784-007-0149-5. Epub 2007 Sep 18.

Abstract

The aim of this retrospective study was to describe the oral health status of patients before, during, and after radiotherapy (RT) for the treatment of head and neck cancer (HNC). Before RT, the following data was collected: presence of unrecoverable teeth, residual roots, unerupted teeth, use of dentures, periodontal alterations, caries, candidiasis, and xerostomia. Mucositis, candidiasis, and xerostomia were evaluated during RT. Patients continued to be followed after RT for evaluation of mucositis, candidiasis, xerostomia, radiation caries, and osteoradionecrosis. For statistical analysis, 95% confidence intervals (CI) were determined using sample size, population, and percentages. Before RT, 120 (57.9%) patients presented with alterations in the oral cavity namely, 85 (41.0%) with periodontal disease, 44 (21.2%) with residual roots, 25 (12.0%) with caries, 15 (7.2%) with candidiasis, and 12 (5.8%) had an unerupted tooth present. Xerostomia was a complaint of 19 patients (9.1%). Restorations were indicated for 33 patients (15.9%), whereas extraction was indicated for 104 (50.2%) patients. During RT, mucositis was found in 80 (61.7%) patients, candidiasis in 60 (45.8%), and xerostomia was a complaint of 82 patients (62.6%). After RT, mucositis persisted in 21 patients (19.2%), candidiasis was identified in 23 patients (21.1%), and xerostomia was reported by 58 patients (53.2%). Radiation caries developed in 12 patients (11.0%), whereas six patients (5.5%) developed osteoradionecrosis. The demographic profile herein presented will be useful as baseline data to provide additional epidemiological information and to determine future measures for prevention and treatment of RT-induced complications and sequelae.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Candidiasis, Oral / diagnosis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dental Caries / diagnosis
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent
  • Dentures
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Diseases / diagnosis
  • Oral Health*
  • Osteoradionecrosis / diagnosis
  • Periodontal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Radiation Injuries / diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomatitis / diagnosis
  • Tooth Diseases / diagnosis
  • Tooth Extraction
  • Tooth Root / pathology
  • Tooth, Unerupted / diagnosis
  • Xerostomia / diagnosis