CLL Coverage from Every Angle

Is Chemotherapy Linked to Deterioration of Oral Health in Patients With CLL?

By: Julia Fiederlein
Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2021

Leukemia has been found to be associated with deterioration in oral health; however, data on the state of dentition in this patient population are limited. The results of a study conducted by Renata Chalas, MD, PhD, of the Medical University of Lublin, Poland, and colleagues and reported in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health highlight the need for early and consistent dental treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who are considering hematologic therapy.

“[Permanent dental control] can mitigate pathologic processes in the oral cavity related with the disease and its treatment,” the investigators commented. “Such management will allow the prevention of local complications such as tooth loss and will also affect patients’ general state.”

The investigators focused on a total of 102 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (53.9%), CLL (16.6%), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (15.6%), chronic myeloid leukemia (9.8%), acute promyelocytic leukemia (2.9%), and chronic hairy cell leukemia (0.9%) who were undergoing chemotherapy. The decayed, missing, and filled or crowned teeth (DMFT) index, which expresses the number of teeth that fall into one of these three categories, was used to assess the state of dentition before and after one cycle of treatment.

Based on the obtained values of dental indices, the state of dentition seemed to change after one cycle of chemotherapy. Overall, the change in hematologic parameters after chemotherapy appeared to correlate with the change in the DMFT index and/or its components; however, regardless of the direction of change in red blood cells, there did not seem to be a significant difference in the DMFT index between patient groups both before and after chemotherapy.

“Further studies are necessary to fully understand the causes of tooth loss in [patients with leukemia] and provide solutions to prevent it,” the investigators concluded.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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