Simple Steps To Better Dental Health
space placeholder
Featuring consumer information from Columbia School of Dental & Oral Surgery
Oral Health Made Simple: Your Prescription For Knowledge
Small BoxAll About Cavities
Small BoxBrushing and Flossing
Small BoxFluoride
Small BoxMouth-Healthy Eating
Small BoxSealants
Small BoxTaking Care of Your Teeth
Small BoxTobacco
Small BoxYour Dental Visit
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxBad Breath
Small BoxCavities
Small BoxCold Sores
Small BoxDry Mouth
Small BoxImpacted Tooth
Small BoxSensitive Teeth
Small BoxTMJ
Small BoxTooth Discoloration
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxCrowns
Small BoxDentures
Small BoxFillings: The Basics
Small BoxGum Surgery
Small BoxImplants
Small BoxRoot Canal Treatment
Small BoxScaling and Root Planing
Small BoxWhitening
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxControlling Pain
Small BoxCosmetic Dentistry
Small BoxEmergencies
Small BoxFill, Repair, Replace
Small BoxKids And Teens
Small BoxOral Health and Your Body
Small BoxOrthodontics
Small BoxPeriodontics
Small BoxSeniors
Small BoxMORE
Step 1 Prevent ProblemsSimplestepsPrevent Problems
Step 2 Understand ConditionsSimplestepsUnderstand Conditions
Step 3 Explore TreatmentsSimplestepsExplore Treatments

go to Interactive Tools go to Parents' Guide go to Dental Drugs go to Ask The Dentist

graphic for Dental News showing newspaper

Childhood Cancer Survivors at Risk for Tooth Decay
February 20, 2013

By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service

INTELIHEALTH - Children who had chemotherapy in the past are more likely to have tooth decay and poor oral hygiene habits at age 12, a study suggests.

This study was done in Hungary. It looked at 12-year-old cancer survivors. There were 38 children in the study. All had received chemotherapy at some point between ages 2½ and 6.

Their average age at cancer diagnosis was between 4 and 5 years of age. None had radiation therapy or stem-cell transplants. These children were compared with 40 children of similar age and socioeconomic status who had never been treated for childhood cancer. Children in both groups received dental exams.

Childhood cancer survivors:

  • Had more decayed permanent teeth that had not been filled
  • Had worse oral hygiene
  • Were more likely to have malformed tooth roots or permanent teeth that never developed

The authors say that the increased tooth decay appears to be caused by poor oral hygiene, rather than an effect of chemotherapy. Other studies have found similar results.

Other studies also have reported defects in tooth development as side effects of chemotherapy during early childhood. Most permanent teeth develop in the jaw between ages 2 and 6. This is the same time period the children received chemotherapy.

The authors say that childhood cancer survivors should be considered at high risk for tooth decay. They suggest that dietary changes after chemotherapy may affect their risk of decay.

The study appears in the February issue of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology.

printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version     
printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version
Powered by Aetna Dental Plans

© 2002-2016 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regimen. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions. External website links provided on this site are meant for convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. These external links open in a different window.