Radiotherapy & fillings - dental

Hi there

My aunt had bc last year and during her rads her fillings fell out. I start rads on Thurs and am worried about this as sadly most of my teeth have old style fillings.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Where exactly are you having your rads? Most women only have rads done to wall chest and underarm. Some do have rads higher up onto their necks but stiill misses their jaw line.
I’ve never heard of anybody having normal post op rads for bc losing their teeth.
My friend who had mouth cancer lost her teeth but they were using rads in her mouth.
I would ask on thursday but unless they are irradiating your jaw I wouldn’t worry.
The only other thing that crossed my mind was does your aunt have bony secondaries as rarely the biphosponate drugs they give for that can cause teeth to fall out.
Can you ring anybody in rads before thursday? I was given a number to ring if I was concerned between planning and starting rads for questions.
Hope all goes well

Hi there

I work in a dental hospital and like Kate says, teeth may fall out if rads are to the jaw/ mouth etc because of destruction of the periodontal ligament and bone. I have never heard of filling falling out only teeth and this is when radiotherapy is directly at the mouth. Also like Kate says, bisphosphonates can cause teeth to fall out because of osteoporosis but not fillings. Was it definitely her fillings that fell out or was it her teeth because that could be through gum disease excaberated by chemo/illness etc. I would be very interested to find out and if you wanted me to, I could check with my lot at the hospital?

I’ve just completed 29 rads and still have all my fillings - I was one of the collarbone/neck ppl and they were careful to make sure my chin was outwith the blast area

Thanks for replying guys…

Hi Kate, just having rads to the right breast. Hoping I fare ok and don’t have too much trouble.

Hi Cathy, she doesn’t have secondaries, but her fillings (not teeth) fell out - very odd, thought it might have something to do with the metal - I’m no scientist that’s for sure!!! She didn’t need chemo either…

Anyhoo, I feel reassured that this was a random occurrence and clearly not common at all. I must give her a ring and find out more, that is, how many and when during treatment.


ang xx

Hi Ang

I really can’t think why fillings would fall out with rads to the chest? did she have rads straight after sugery? Perhaps during the anaesthetic they were loosened and fell out afterwards? Very strange. I would be interested to find out more and I can ask my prof at the hospital if he has heard of this!

Hi cathy

She did have rads straight after surgery, but after they had given her scar some time to heal - I’ll give her a phone tomorrow and find out the ins and outs of it.

Cheers ang xx

Hi Ang

I would be very interested as I have never heard of this before, but have a really open mind as to why your poor Aunt’s fillings fell ou! I still think it is a coincidence as radiotherapy is pretty mild in terms of metal fatigue! I was wondering if the tubes in anaesthesia bashed her fillings and loosened them or whether her filling were on their last legs and all the palava from diagnosis onwards etc had an effect. Very interesting!!!

Hi Juddiv

I thought you might find it useful to have a look at the BCC fact sheet on radiotherapy, it provides you with lots of information. You can find this by following the link below:-

I hope you find this helpful

Kind regards

BCC Facilitator