The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Fighting Blood Cancers
7 Replies Latest reply: Jul 25, 2012 2:56 AM by CalvinWatterson RSS

Tooth Troubles

Alex'sMom Registered Users
Currently Being Moderated

My son Alex (age 7) was diagnosed with ALL at the age of two - went through 3 years of chemo and has been OT for 1.8 years. Went for a regular dentist appointment today and got some bad news. The 4 molars that are currently coming erupting are decayed - the dentist thinks it is from the chemo. So the dentist is going to talk with a pediatric specialist but is thinking we are looking at posts, root canals and crowns. And who knows what the 2nd set of molars will look like. Regardless of what we decide to do it sounds like Alex will be spending lots of time at the dentist office.

Anyone have any experience with this and what route did you take?

I know if this is the worst of our problems - it isn't much to complain about, it just seems crazy to me that a 7 year old is needing root canals...

 

Thanks,

Gina

  • Re: Tooth Troubles
    Mom2TyandAJ Registered Users
    Currently Being Moderated

    Ty has had major dental problems. Last year he had a large amount of work done. He was 6 years old. Numerous root canals, 12 silver molars and his front teeth pulled (just because they were a little loose and the dentist didn't want them falling out while he was working). I really didn't like the surgeon who did the work and refused to give Ty any pain meds for home. Thankfully we had norco at hand at home and was able to get a little more. Ty was very uncomfortable for many days following the surgery. He couldnt eat and kept spitting out huge amounts of blood. All in all I'm glad he had it done but next time I will use a different doctor. His last dentist appt he was cavity free but ththe dentist we saw tried to lecture me about tooth care and I told him where he could shove it. I love our dentist but I will never trust them to send us to another dental surgeon again ( we will use the one the onco suggests).  Good luck, hope my story didn't scare you too much. oh and when he had this done he had been in LTM for 6 months.

  • Re: Tooth Troubles
    leahamarie Registered Users
    Currently Being Moderated

    Unfortunately treatment at a young age, when teeth are still developing within the gums, can result in dental issues.  My son was treated for aml (including bmt) at age 3.   I asked the onc about dental problems when my son was 5, and  we had an xray which revealed  that 4 teeth were missing (molars that start developing in the gums at around theage of 3).  An xray a couple of years later revealed (much to the dentists surprise) that 3 of the molars had partially developed.  Those 3 molars have only recently erupted (my son is 13 now) and they are unusually small, thankfully not a big issue as his mouth is overcrowded and he will need orthodontic work anyway.

     

    But it's always struck me that the oncologists forget about the teeth - funny how they consider every other aspect of the body but they  don't give much thought to the teeth.  I was the one who raised the issue with the onc.

    • Re: Tooth Troubles
      robbieh Registered Users
      Currently Being Moderated

      Our oncology clinic has signs up about how important dental care is during treatment.  But, when I tried to schedule/coordinate/whatever a spinal in the OR totally under and a thorough teeth cleaning and extraction at the same time it was a no go.  And no one bothered to call and tell me that what we had scheduled a month prior wouldn't happen.  I found out at an appt. (fortunately not the one when it was supposed to happen).  The pediatric dentist did come up and take a look at her in the oncology clinic, but I think that's only because our regular dentist has a 22 year old son who is a leukemia survivor and she is friends with the dentist at the clinic.  Not that I'm bitter or anything...LOL  We ended up making several extra trips to our regular dentist and finally the tooth came out on its own.  Even though Lauren is almost 14 she still has some baby teeth because of Down syndrome.  I joke and say we are going to end up spending more money on dental work and orthodontia than we paid out of pocket for caner; but I think it may be true.  Sometimes I feel like if you have health insurance and the means to get your treatment you are on your own more than the kids getting treated whose parents have financial needs.   I love that our hospital doesn't turn anyone away, though.  And I'm thankful we don't need a social worker, patient advocate, interpreter, and so on. 

      • Re: Tooth Troubles
        CalvinWatterson Registered Users
        Currently Being Moderated

        Yup for that reason we also had dental insurance. And thus recently suggested my friend to have it as her daughter who is just now diagonalized with leukemia.

        Hope I have done nothing wrong in it! As my mother has gone through the dental implant procedure so know its pain. But can say you are quite lucky to have had done treatment and all such thing in proper manner without much of external troubles. You should really thankful to your dentist.

  • Re: Tooth Troubles
    Alex'sMom Registered Users
    Currently Being Moderated

    I agree - the oncologists don't say much if anything about tooth problems that can result from treatment. We didn't get in depth about it at the dental appointment yesterday because they aren't even all the way out yet - but he was giving me the run down on what he is thinking  will have to happen. Then he mentioned that the crowned teeth last on the average 15 years. So then what? Implants? On top of that I am not sure how much longer we will have dental insurance.The good news is that his permanent teeth that have come in in the front look good enough so hopefully they will be ok.  A few on the bottom are pretty crooked so we may have to look at straightening them eventually.

    So what happens 10+ years down the road once you have spent thousands of dollars on root canals and crowns? You pull them? I guess we haven't gotten very far into our dental woes yet so I don't know what to expect. Did your dentists give some possible scenarios for the future? I guess I am just trying to gather information that way when we reevaluate his teeth in another month I am better informed or more confused as to what to do.

  • Re: Tooth Troubles
    kimmeebee Registered Users
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'm so sorry you guys are having to deal with this.

     

     

    I was worried that Emma would have trouble with her teeth because she was DX at age 3. She seemed to have graying of her teeth during frontline treatment but those fell out and the adult teeth are perfectly normal. The dentist said they sometimes see 'spotting' on teeth from chemo in cancer kids but that Emma doesn't have that.

     

    I honestly think it's the luck of the draw because I have very healthy teeth and she seems to take after me in that respect.

    • Re: Tooth Troubles
      Alex'sMom Registered Users
      Currently Being Moderated

      I thought we had lucked out when his permanent front teeth came in good. They're kind of spotted in a few areas but they are strong and with the exception for 2 of the lower permanents that came in crooked all seemed well -  Until the 1 st set of molars came in...

      If Emmas molars are coming in ok I would suggest having them sealed ASAP -

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...