Caries after head and neck radiotherapy increases the risk for osteoradionecrosis and complications suggest a new study published in the Special Care in Dentistry
Radiation caries (RC) is a highly prevalent and chronic complication of head and neck radiotherapy (HNRT) and presents a challenge for clinicians and patients. The present study aimed to assess the impact of RC on the morbidity and mortality outcomes of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients.
Patients were divided into three groups: (1) RC (n = 20), (2) control (n = 20), and (3) edentulous (n = 20). Information regarding the number of appointments, dental procedures, osteoradionecrosis (ORN), prescriptions, and hospital admissions were collected. Mortality outcomes were assessed through disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) rates. RC patients required more dental appointments (p < .001), restorations (p < .001), extractions (p = .001), and antibiotic and analgesic prescriptions (p < .001). Kaplan–Meier subgroup analyses showed a significantly increased risk of ORN in RC compared to edentulous patients (p = .015). RC patients presented lower DFS rates (43.2 months) than the control and edentulous groups (55.4 and 56.1 months, respectively).
RC impacts morbidity outcomes among cancer survivors due to increased demand for medication prescriptions, multiple specialized dental appointments, invasive surgical treatments, increased risk of ORN, and increased need for hospital admissions.
Palmier, NR, Prado-Ribeiro, AC, Mariz, BALA, et al. The impact of radiation caries on morbidity and mortality outcomes of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients. Spec Care Dentist. 2023; 1- 12. https://doi.org/10.1111/scd.12843
Caries, head, neck, radiotherapy, increases, risk, osteoradionecrosis, complications, Special Care in Dentistry, Palmier, NR, Prado-Ribeiro, AC, Mariz, BALA