AMDR Journal
Article Qr Code


DOI: 10.21276/amdr.2016.2.1.01
Management of Oral Complications in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer Undergoing Radiotherapy

Jan-June 2016 | Vol 2 | Issue 1 | Page :1-4

R. Priyanka

1IV year BDS, Saveetha Dental College, Poonamallee, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

How to cite this article:R. Priyanka. Management of Oral Complications in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer Undergoing Radiotherapy. Adv Med Dent Res 2016; Jan-Jun; 2(1); 1-4. DOI: 10.21276/amdr.2016.2.1.01


Ionizing radiation causes damage in normal tissues located in the radiation portals. Oral complications of radiotherapy in the head and neck region are the result of the deleterious effects of radiation on, e.g., salivary glands, oral mucosa, bone, dentition, masticatory musculature, and temporomandibular joints. The clinical consequences of radiotherapy include mucositis, hyposalivation, taste loss, osteoradionecrosis, radiation caries, and trismus. Mucositis and taste loss are reversible consequences that usually subside early post-irradiation, while hyposalivation is normally irreversible. Furthermore, the risk of developing radiation caries and osteoradionecrosis is a life-long threat. Present study is an attempt to take a review of the management of oral lesions caused in patients undergoing radiation therapy for head and neck carcinoma and to bring out all the possible precautions before the therapy and the management of all the consequences that form as a heavy burden for the patients and have a tremendous impact on their quality of life during and after radiotherapy.

Keywords: : Oral complications, Management, Radiotherapy.

  1. Amerongen AVN, et al. Current therapies for xerostomia and salivary gland hypofunction associated with cancer therapies. SuppCare Cancer 2003;11:226-31.
  2. BaraschA,et al. Oral cancer and oral effects of anticancer therapy. Mt Sinai J Med 1998,5:370-7.
  3. ChencharickJD,et all. Nutritional consequences of the radiotherapy of head and neck cancer. Cancer 1983;51:811-5.
  4. Davies AN, Et al. A comparison of artificial saliva and pilocarpine in radiation induced xerostomia. J LaryngolOtol 1994;108:663-5.
  5. Davies AN. The management of xerostomia:a review. Eur J Cancer Care 1997;6:209-14.
  6. Epstein JB, et al, The relationships among fluoride, cariogenic oral flora, and salivary flow during radiation therapy. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1998;86:286-92.
  7. Grotz KA, Et al. Long term oral Candida colonization, mucositis and salivary function after head and neck radiotherapy. Supp Care Cancer 2003;11:717-21.
  8. Guchelaar HJ, et al Radiation induced xerostomia: pathophysiology, clinical course and supportive treatment. Support Care Cancer 1997;5:281-8.
  9. Hancock PJ, et al,Oral and dental management related to radiation therapy for head and neck cancer. J Can Dent Assoc 2003;69:585-90.
  10. Johnstone PAS, Et al..Acupunture for pilocarpine-resistant xerostomia following radiotherapy for head and neck malignancies.Int J RadiatOncolBiolPhys 2001;50:353-7.
  11. Jham BC, et al,. Candida oral colonization and infection in Brazilian patients undergoing radiotherapy in the head and neck: a pilot study. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral press, 2006.
  12. Jham BC, et al..A randomized phase III prospective trial of bethanechol to prevent radiotherapy-induced salivary gland damage in patients with head and neck cancer.Oral press 2006.
  13. LogemannJA,et al. Effects of xerostomia on perception and performance of swallow function. Head and Neckm, 2001;23:317-21.
  14. Mantravadi RV et al , postoperative radiotherapy for persistent tumor at the surgical margin in head and neck cancers. Laryngoscopes 1983,93:1337-40.
  15. . Muir CS et al, Directory of ongoing research in cancer epidemiology. IARC SciPubl 1986,80:1-805
  16. Mucke R, et al. Fluconazole prophylaxis in patients with head and neck tumours undergoing radiation and radiochemotherapy. Mycoses 1998;41:421-3.
  17. Ohrn KEO, et al. Oral status during radiotherapy and chemotherapy: a descriptive study of patient experiences and the occurrence of oral complications. Supp Care Cancer 2001;9:247-57.
  18. Parkin et al, Estimates of Worldwide Incedence of Eighteen Major Cancers in 1985. Int. J Cancer 1993,54:594-606.
  19. Pico JL, et al. Its occurence, consequences and treatment in the oncology setting.OncolPhysEduc 1998,3:446-51.]
  20. Porter SR, Et alAn update of the etiology and management of xerostomia. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral RadiolEndod 2004;97:28-46.
  21. Redding SW,, et al. Epidemiology of Oropharyngeal Candida colonization and infection in patients receiving radiation for head and neck cancer. J ClinMicrobiol 1999;37:3896-900.
  22. Redding SW, et al. Candida dubliniensis in radiation-induced oropharyngeal candidiasis. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral PatholRadiolEndod 2001;9:659-62.
  23. Rothwell. BR. Prevention and treatment of the orofacial complications of radiotherapy. JADA 1987, 114:316-22.
  24. Silverman S Jr, et al. Occurrence of oral candida in irradiated head and neck cancer patients. J Oral Med 1984;39:194-6.
  25. Silverman, S.Jr. Oral cancer. Complications of therapy. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral RadiolEndond 1999;88:122-6.
  26. Spaulding CA et al, The influence of extents of next treatment upon control of cervical lymphadenopathy in cancers of the oral tongue. Int J Radiant OncolBiolPhys 1991,21:577-81.
  27. Spect L. et al, oral complications in the head and neck irradiated patient. Introduction and scope of the problem. Suppose Care Dent 2002;10:36-9.
  28. Thorn JJ et al..Osteoradionecrosis of the jaws: clinical characteristics and relation to field of irradiation. J Oral MaxillofacSurg 2000;58:1088-93.
  29. Tsujii II. Quantitative dose-response analysis of salivary function following radiotherapy using sequential RT- sialography.Int J RadiatOncolBiolPhys 1985,11:1603-12.
Download PDF     Print