Modification of Dental Hygiene Care in a Breast Cancer Patient.
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Objective: The objective of this clinical case presentation is to evaluate the treatment of a patient undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and identify necessary modifications throughout the dental hygiene appointment. Background Information: A 72-year old, Caucasian female patient presented to the dental hygiene clinic with the chief complaint of “I want to get my teeth cleaned.” The patient also reported symptoms of xerostomia and burning sensation of the gingiva. The patient receives regular periodontal maintenance care every three months at a private practice. The medical history revealed breast cancer, hypertension and history of myocardial infarction. The patient’s breast cancer is currently being treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Clinical Examination: The patient presented clinically with generalized mild plaque-induced marginal papillary gingivitis as evidenced by red, rolled, spongy gingiva with bleeding on probing and generalized moderate chronic periodontitis as evidenced by 4-5mm clinical attachment levels. Radiographically, the patient presented with localized mild horizontal bone loss as evidenced by 3-4mm measured from the cementoenamel junction to the crest of the alveolar bone around teeth numbers 4 (distal), 15 (mesial), 19, 27, 29 and 31. Oral hygiene habits consist of patient brushing at least once per day, but seldom flossing or using mouthwash. The patient is at high risk for dental caries due to active decay, medication-induced xerostomia and inadequate home care. DH Care Plan: Periodontal maintenance with extensive oral hygiene instructions were performed. Toothpaste and mouth rinse for dry mouth were recommended at the initial appointment. Evaluation: This patient will return for periodontal maintenance in March 2015. At that time oral hygiene and caries risk will be evaluated. Conclusion: In this case report, the complaints of a patient with a history of breast cancer, xerostomia, and burning of the gingiva were addressed.