This study evaluated the effect of three preventive protocols and dental treatment on the occurrence of xerostomia, mucositis and candidosis in oncologic patients undergoing radiotherapy for treatment of head and neck cancer. A total of 100 patients were submitted to radiotherapy (RT): thirty-eight did not receive dental treatment prior to RT and oral hygiene instructions were provided in the visits to centers for RT, during and after radiotherapy; sixty-two received endodontic, periodontal, surgical and restorative treatments prior to RT and were instructed to use chlorhexidine gluconate 0.12% oral rinse or sodium fluoride 0.5% oral rinse or 2% sodium iodide (hydrogen peroxide in 10 v/v) during and after RT. Patients underwent dental, periodontal, intra and extra oral examinations immediately before, during and after radiotherapy. Dermatitis, mucositis and xerostomia tended to be almost universal, but the severity of mucositis was significantly lower among patients who received the preventive protocols. The occurrence of candidosis was significantly lower in patients who received preventive dental treatment and chemical protocols. Although preventive dental protocols used in centers for radiotherapy in Brazil are not fully adequate, the results of the present investigation show that they at least minimize the severity of some symptoms, and the lack of a dental protocol is deeply harmful to the patients.
KEY WORDS: radiotherapy, cancer, mucositis, candidosis, dermatitis, xerostomia, prevention.
How to cite this article
SOUZA, F. R. N.; MONTI, L. M.; CIESIELSKI, F. I. N.; DE CASTRO, A. L.; PACE, G. & GAETTI-JARDIM, E. Influence of preventive protocols on side effects of radiotherapy for treatment of head and neck cancer. Int. J. Odontostomat., 3(2):167172, 2009.