Radiation affects normal cells as well as cancer cells. You may have side effects, depending on how much radiation you get and where you get it. Here are side effects that people with oral cancer may have after radiation:
Red and sore mouth
Damaged taste buds
Skin irritation in the area that was treated
Teeth erosion or cavities, which can occur from having a dry mouth. Fluoride treatments may be prescribed by your doctor or dentist.
Damage to the jaw bone called osteoradionecrosis. This is a rare, but serious complication of radiation. Your risk for this damage is higher if you have bad teeth left in place when getting radiation. That’s why it’s very important to see a dentist before starting radiation.
Many of these side effects will go away a few weeks after treatments end.