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Managing Oral Complications of High-Dose Chemotherapy and / or Stem Cell Transplant


    Medicines and ice may be used to prevent and treat mucositis from stem cell transplant.

    Medicines may be given to help prevent mouth sores or help the mouth heal faster if it is damaged by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Also, holding ice chips in the mouth during high-dose chemotherapy, may help prevent mouth sores.

    Dental treatments may be put off until the patient's immune system returns to normal.

    Regular dental treatments, including cleaning and polishing, should wait until the transplant patient's immune system returns to normal. The immune system can take 6 to 12 months to recover after high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. During this time, the risk of oral complications is high. If dental treatments are needed, antibiotics and supportive care are given.

    Supportive care before oral procedures may include giving antibiotics or immunoglobulin G, adjusting steroid doses, and/or platelet transfusion.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: February 25, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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