Oral Hygene and Dental Care

Visiting your Dentist or Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist?

  • Your dentist and ENT specialist play a vital part in the early detection of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC). HNSCC are a significant threat for people with FA, regardless of bone marrow transplantation status. Not only is the incidence of HNSCC considerably higher than in the general population (500-700 times higher), patients with FA present with these types of cancers at a younger age than those without FA – the median age is 27 years. Regular screenings are critically important. (Text courtesy of Fanconi Anemia Research Fund)
  • FARF has prepared two helpful fact sheets about squamous cell carcinoma to share with your dentist and ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist. FARF recommend that you take a fact sheet with you to every dentist and ENT visit.

Oral hygiene is vitally important for those affected by FA.

Informal advice from members of the medical community in the US is given below courtesy of FARF  who published the following on their FARF Bulletin Board in 2011/12.

  • Toothpaste: “At our weekend meeting on squamous cell carcinoma, Dr. Flavia Teles gave a short presentation on her study of the saliva from the mouths of 18 individuals with FA who attended our 2010 FA Family Meeting. Her early results, based on this very small number, suggest that the average amount of bacteria found in mouths of individuals with FA exceeds that seen in mouths of non-FA siblings and parents. The number of patients is too small to make a definite conclusion (and this is an average: she doesn’t know if ALL the FA patients had excessive bacteria). She will continue to analyze her data and wants to obtain additional samples this summer at Camp Sunshine. Her concern is that harmful bacteria may contribute to the squamous cell carcinoma that affects many FA patients. After this meeting, Dr. Teles came up to me and suggested that children and adults with FA should brush their teeth with Colgate Total. She stated that this product contains a compound with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and this might help with those issues in FA patients. Her center uses this product for periodontal disease and gingivitus and there are a number of studies showing that Colgate Total is “much better than any others.” She promised to write a paragraph summarizing those studies so that I could share it with our group”.
  • Mouthwash: “The oral surgeon and FA expert who spoke at an FA Adult Meeting in Portland in 2011 repeated the consistent advice we have heard for years. If you are affected by FA, do NOT use a mouthwash that contains alcohol, as the toxic consequences present an unacceptable risk”. see also Alcohol and FA page.

Mouth Care for Chemotherapy Patients:

Advice from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas (2009). link

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