J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2018 Jul;8(2):76-81. 10.0000/jkdps.2018.8.2.76.

Dental Problems Associated with Radiation Therapy

  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Asan Medical Center, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Seoul, Korea. ahnkangmin@hanmail.net


Dental problems associated with radiation therapy are difficult to treat because of the irreversible nature of radiation therapy and permanent tissue damage. Common oral complications include oral mucosa ulceration, xerostomia, and radiation caries. Other oral complications found infrequently are mouth opening limitation and osteonecrosis of the jaw bone. The acute complication of oral ulceration is associated with dysphagia. In addition, delayed complications, such as xerostomia and dental caries, could lower the quality of life, particularly in terms of chewing and swallowing. The treatment of each complication is dependent on the condition and severity. Symptomatic treatment to relieve pain and discomfort is typical for oral complications. Surgical and radical resection is required for the advanced stage of osteoradionecrosis. In this review, oral complications and their treatments are suggested for clinical guidance.


Radiation therapy; Dysphasia; Oral complication; Xerostomia; Osteoradionecrosis
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