Dental Issues and Hepatitis C: Messy Mouth
This may sound disgusting, but when I was on treatment, there were times when my mouth was a mess. Not only were my teeth decaying which required dental work, my mouth just had a lot of problems. I got my teeth cleaned before treatment and waited until a year for my next cleaning. Today’s treatments are shorter, but dental hygiene is still important given the connection between dental issues and hepatitis C –notably that liver disease can cause a range of "messy mouth" problems. Being aware can help to prevent your mouth from getting too sick. Do a dental check every day in your bathroom and look out for signs and symptoms of any oral problems.
Dental issues and hepatitis C: messy mouth
This seems to be a major problem for many of the drugs we use, and especially so with hepatitis C treatment. Dry mouth can accelerate the decay process. Having enough saliva helps to keep your mouth with a healthy PH balance.
Sometimes the inside of your cheek, or even your gums can develop canker type sores. These red spots make eating difficult and painful. If it reduces your ability to eat, you might find yourself low on nutrition.
Often times dry mouth can lead to a fungal infection such as thrush. This is where your tongue becomes swollen and painful. A white coating can appear in your mouth and gums as well. This inflammation might make it difficult to swallow. Eating spicy or acidic foods can make it worse.
Stop the cycle
When your mouth is messy, your appetite isn’t good. Before long you can begin to feel malnourished. This leads to increased fatigue. When you’re tired, you have less energy for oral care and for cooking nutritious meals. It’s a vicious cycle. If you are aware of what is happening with your mouth, you can jump off of that hamster wheel before you have serious problems.
Using a gentle toothbrush is a good step in reducing irritation. It helps you to get in the hard to reach places if the bristles have feathery tips instead of the big rubbery type. Sensitive toothpastes are easy to find in just about every store now. You may even want to try a special mouth rinse for dry mouth. Use as frequently as possible. Even rinsing with water several times a day can keep bacteria down. It also helps to relieve pain from mouth sores and irritation.
Talk to your medical care provider if you're experiencing dental issues from hepatitis C. They may feel that a medicine such as Miracle Mouthwash might be beneficial. It contains a combination of pain relief, antibiotic, and a soothing coating to help heal your mouth and gums. They might be able to offer some solutions that will provide relief.
The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent and treat messy mouth problems. As soon as you see signs of a messy mouth, take some steps to clean it up. If it doesn’t heal soon, your doctor or dentist can offer advice to clear it up quickly! Messy mouth doesn't have to to last forever.
What dietary changes have you made to better manage hep C symptoms? (Select all that apply)