The increasing use of oral cytotoxic drugs for non-oncological diseases has resulted in an increased likelihood that dental patients will be taking them. The oral mucosa has a very high cell turnover rate and these drugs will invariably result in thinning of the mucosa, and often, concurrent salivary hypofunction.

These patients are likely to require increased care and, if they have complex dental treatment needs, may require specialist management. Good communication with the treating doctors and appropriate referral where necessary will significantly help these patients.

Michael McCullough

Chair, Therapeutics Committee, Australian Dental Association