Radiation to Head & Neck Can Cause Jaw Pain

February 18, 2019 // 1 min read Hyperbaric Medical Solutions Radiation Tissue Damage Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
WHAT ARE SOME REASONS FOR JAW PAIN?

Chronic jaw pain is extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient. Not only can chewing and swallowing food be difficult, but the constant discomfort can even make concentrating or sleeping a challenge. While some explanations for such suffering are easy to detect, others require a bit more investigative work.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD RADIOTHERAPY?

You may not have considered this before, but those who have received radiotherapy, or radiation therapy, for head and neck cancer, are at risk of suffering from jaw pain and infections down the road. In fact, this is a symptom of delayed radiation injury, which is a condition that can develop anywhere from six months to years after your initial treatments. As a result, pinpointing this as the reason for your jaw pain can be difficult. However, by meeting with a trained medical professional and suggesting this possibility, a proper diagnosis can ultimately be reached.

Other symptoms of delayed radiation injury of the head and neck include dental issues, such as numerous cavities, and an excessively dry mouth.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment that aims to address these symptoms and encourage the healing of damaged tissue as a result of your radiation damage. This non-invasive, all-natural therapy is recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as being an effective treatment for radiation damage.

A typical session involves the patient sitting or lying in a hyperbaric chamber and breathing pressurized, pure oxygen. This is carried throughout the body via red blood cells and blood plasma to deliver an increased amount of oxygen to damaged body tissue. That additional oxygen could encourage healing at a faster rate, and boost capillary growth and white blood cell enhancement, helping you recover from the inside-out.

 

{Updated: February 11, 2019}

 

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To learn more about HBOT and whether it's right for you, schedule a consultation with one of our trained hyperbaric oxygen specialists.

Alan Katz, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, UHM/ABEM

Written by Alan Katz, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, UHM/ABEM

Dr. Alan Katz, medical director at Hyperbaric Medical Solutions (HMS), is double board certified in Emergency Medicine and Hyperbaric Medicine. He directs clinical operations, as well as education and research initiatives for HMS, particularly in exploring the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of traumatic brain injury, Lyme disease, and other inflammatory processes. He earned his medical degree from SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn, and completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at Long Island Jewish Medical Center....

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