ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Prevent a Dry or Sore Mouth During Cancer Treatment

Updated on March 21, 2013
Sore Mouth
Sore Mouth | Source

When undergoing Cancer treatment a dry or sore mouth is not uncommon. You may even get the feeling that your mouth is 'coated' with something unpleasant. These problems can make food taste different to normal, and quite possibly change the flavour. You might also find that eating your food becomes uncomfortable or even painful. This article aims to offer advice to anyone experiencing this in the hope that the tips it contains may either solve the problem, or at the very least minimise it to a bearable degree.

If you are a patient whose mouth is causing discomfort or even pain, then it is important that you have your mouth checked out by a medical professional in order to rule out other possible causes such as oral thrush (which is a common problem during Cancer treatment and is generally very easy to treat).

Please treat this article as a guideline only, and only follow any advice you discover online after consulting with a medical professional.


General Advice

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Try using a straw as this can make drinking much easier.
  • Use only alcohol free mouthwashes.
  • Practice good oral hygiene by cleaning teeth regularly and using mouthwashes and gargles.
  • Speak to your doctor or nurse regarding specific products for oral care.

Helpful Tips

  • Avoid crunchy, crumbly or rough textured foods as these can be more difficult to eat. You can improve their texture wherever possible by adding sauces, gravies, cream or custard.
  • Incorporate as many soft and moist foods (such as fruits etc) into your diet as possible because these will be much easier to chew and swallow.
  • Avoid substances that can irritate your mouth such as alcohol. For the same reason avoid smoking because this too can irritate.
  • If you are finding solid foods particularly difficult try drinking highly nutritious fluids instead, e.g. soup, milkshakes, smoothies, milk, fruit juices etc.

How to Cope with a Sore Mouth

  • Keep foods and drinks reasonably bland in nature. Spicy, salty or acidic foods and drinks can aggravate a sore mouth. This means trying to avoid foods such as curry, chili, vinegar, crisps, oranges, grapefruits and certain fruit juices.
  • Ensure meals are not served at extreme temperatures which might irritate your mouth. Very hot soups, coffees or teas as well as ice cream straight from your freezer a not a good idea. Try room temperature drinks or 'just' cool drinks instead.
  • Speak to a medical professional about pain relief medication that can be taken before meals to facilitate easier eating.

How to Cope with a Dry or Coated Mouth

  • Make sure you have plenty of fluids, and remember to sip them regularly.
  • Try sucking on ice lollies or even ice cubes.
  • If your mouth isn't too sore you might find sucking on pineapple chunks beneficial.
  • Sugar free gum or boiled sweets can stimulate saliva production and ease the feeling of a dryness.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about a mouth spray or gel that will act as an artificial saliva.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Really pleased to hear that SimpleJoys. Fingers crossed so far things are looking good for Mum too.

    • SimpleJoys profile image

      SimpleJoys 

      5 years ago

      Yes, I am in remission. It has been a blessing. I hope your Mum is too. Cancer treatment is terribly hard.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for your input and suggestions SimpleJoys. I hope you are now in remission.

    • SimpleJoys profile image

      SimpleJoys 

      5 years ago

      I am 9 months past chemo and still have some dry mouth problems. I find drinking plain seltzer water offers some relief as well as a sugar free sports drink (not an energy drink). There are many products available for dry mouth. I even have a chewing gum designed for that purpose. At this point it is thought that my dry mouth is due to the estrogen blocker I will be taking for the next five years.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)