Log in or Register to participate in these discussions

Mucositis and amalgam fillings

Mucositis and amalgam fillings

Posted by Ken Anderson on Sep 9, 2019 8:20 pm

I have HPV-positive base of tongue SCC.  I declined chemo and opted instead for an accelerated schedule of radiation.  I get 70 Gy over 35 doses with 6 doses per week; one day of each week I get two doses.

I have 4 doses to go.  Just before I was down to my last 7, I met with my radiation oncologist for our weekly meeting.  I told him I was having a little difficulty with an ulcer that had formed on the bottom right side of my tongue; my tongue is also swollen on the right side.  No big surprise I thought; lots of H&N patients get mucositis ulcers on their tongues.

He had a look at my mouth and promptly recommended that I have the radiation therapists make a wax pad to stick on the top of two molars immediately next to the ulcer.  Both of these molars have amalgam fillings.  He said that he thought the ulcer might be caused by "sparking" when the radiation beams hit the fillings.

The radiation therapists did as he directed.  They softened some wax, attached it to a plastic stick, wrapped it in Saran Wrap, and had me bite down on it. They then put my mask on and gave me a dose.  Ever since then, I've been putting that wax pad on my teeth before each session.

I looked into this, and you should too.  Google "mucositis backscatter radiation stent".  It turns out that dentists have been making "radiation shields" for years to help patients who have metal dental work (including amalgam fillings) avoid mucositis ulcers resulting from radiation therapy.  The version that I'm using now is just a quick and dirty implementation; there isn't enough time left now for me to get a "real" stent.

I sure wish someone had told me about this earlier.  If you're just starting your treatments, ask your dentist and radiation oncologist about this option if you have any metal in your mouth.


Re: Mucositis and amalgam fillings

Posted by JamesT on Sep 10, 2019 1:31 am

Excellent suggestion Ken Anderson‍ 


Re: Mucositis and amalgam fillings

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Sep 10, 2019 10:57 am

Ken Anderson‍ 

Thank you for sharing with us  so others can inquire about this beforehand.

😊 Glad to have you as part of our community!