Diagnosing A Canker Sore
Your doctor will first review your medical history to determine if you have any active medical conditions that may increase your risk of developing mouth ulcers. To confirm a canker sore diagnosis and to rule out other possible causes for ulcers, your doctor may order:
- Lesion cultures
- Biopsy of the sore
While most canker sores are harmless, some mouth ulcers may be caused by drug allergies, herpes infection, erythema multiforme, or bullous lichen planus. This makes it important to be examined by your doctor when you experience canker sore symptoms.
Dietary Management For Mouth Ulcers
Eating a normal diet might be painful with mouth ulcers, as spicy food is not well tolerated. Certain types of food will irritate tender mouth, which makes chewing and swallowing difficult. By choosing the right kind of foods and taking good care of your mouth, teeth and gums, you can make eating easier and heal ulcer rapidly.
Milk-based food preparations are easy to take, as they do not irritate the mouth lining. Incorporate in your diet bland food such as moong dal, idli, upma, kichadi, bread, paneer, soft vegetables and fruits and boiled eggs that are soothing to eat. Ensure that the temperature of the food is not be very hot or cold, as both may irritate and worsen the pain. Use a straw to drink liquids, which can assist bypass canker sores and have small bites and chew each bite carefully and thoroughly, when eating.
Try to include some of these foods that are easy to chew and swallow which include:
- Dairy and dairy products like curd, yoghurt and cheese
- Bananas, applesauce, and papaya. Also have water-rich fruits like peaches, peach, watermelon, cantaloupe and nectarines, but avoid fruit that contains tiny seeds such as berries
- Mashed potatoes, sweet potato and other boiled and pureed vegetables
- Custard, puddings , smoothies and shakes
- Boiled and scrambled eggs
- Oatmeal, porridges and other cereals with extra milk or water.
- Semi-liquid items such as soy milk, rice milk, juice, broth, soup, jelly or yoghurt
- Boiled lean meat
Mouth Ulcers: 5 Amazing Kitchen Remedies To Heal Canker Sores
Mouth ulcers also known as canker sores are painful and irritating that occur in the mouth and gums. Most mouth sores are harmless but can cause uneasiness and discomfort making it hard even to eat, drink or brush the teeth. Also Read: Canker Sores: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
Mouth ulcers appear as sores on the soft tissues of the mouth including lips, cheeks, tongue, floor and roof of the mouth. However, it is not a severe condition, but still, a person suffering from it may experience intense pain and show disinterest towards food.
There are no specific causes for mouth ulcers, but some of the factors that may trigger include:
- Accidental biting of the cheek or tongue, minor injury or hard brushing
- Mouth rinses and toothpaste which contains certain chemicals
- Acidic food or other food triggers like coffee and chocolate
- Nutritional deficiency especially B12, folate, zinc and iron
- Stress and hormonal changes or any infection
- Certain medications like beta-blockers and pain killers
Eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding food triggers, proper dental hygiene and taking a multivitamin may help to get rid of mouth ulcers. There are a few simple and effective home remedies that work well in providing quick relief from mouth ulcers.1. Honey
2. Coconut Oil
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Read Also: Stage 4 Stomach Cancer Survival Rate
A Chance Discovery Leads To A Possible Solution
In the late 1980s, NCI scientists Jeffrey Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., Stuart Aaronson, M.D., and Paul Finch, Ph.D., were conducting research to identify proteins that play a role in cancer cell growth. They studied epithelial cells, which line the surfaces of the bodys organs, because many tumors are derived from these cells.
Instead of finding a culprit of uncontrolled cancer growth, the scientists identified and isolated another molecule, that they called keratinocyte growth factor , that turned out to be expressed in epithelial wounds.
Subsequent research showed that KGF aids the healing process by stimulating the growth of epithelial cells in tissues such as the skin and mouth. And additional research showed that treating cancer patients with KGF before cancer treatment had a strong protective effect, limiting the damage cancer treatments can inflict on the rapidly dividing cells of the mouth.
These studies suggested that KGF could potentially be used to treat or prevent oral mucositis.
Who Can Get Mouth Ulcers
Anyone can get mouth ulcers, but women are more likely to develop mouth ulcers, especially while pregnant or during the menstrual cycle. While children can develop a mouth ulcer, most people develop them for the first time as a teenager or young adult.
People being treated with chemotherapy may develop mouth ulcers. It can range from some sores to severe inflammation, bleeding, and ulceration called mucositis.
You May Like: The Stages Of Breast Cancer
What About Prescription Medications
Your healthcare provider will discuss the options that are available for you if you need prescription medication to relieve pain or treat an infection. They may prescribe an antifungal rinse or lozenge. Gel Clair® is a mouth gel prescribed to relieve mouth sores. It works by forming a barrier that protects the nerve endings that cause pain. You can eat, drink and take medications while using Gel Clair®. Avoid drinking or eating anything within one hour of using Gel Clair®.
Mouth sores are a common problem when you are receiving some types of cancer therapies. There are treatments available to reduce your risk of having mouth problems, and to reduce pain and discomfort if you do. Remember, if your mouth problems are severe, your treatment may be delayed or stopped.
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center takes steps to provide for the accessibility and usability of its websites, mobile applications, and all digital assets contained or offered therein . To this end, Roswell Park works to provide Services that are compatible with commonly used assistive browsers, tools, and technologies. While Roswell Park strives to provide accessibility and usability for all users, please be aware that accessibility is an ongoing effort, and it may not be possible in all areas of Roswell Parks Services with current technology and other restrictions.
Royal Jelly And Honey
Royal jelly, or bees milk, is a special secretion made by nurse bees of the colony specifically for the larvae of the queen bee, who is exclusively fed and surrounded by this jelly, instead of the regular honey and pollen fed to the other bees. Although it is disputed if it is the sole access to the jelly or not having access to the normal honey and pollen that leads to the superior characteristics of a queen bee, it is believed that because of its antioxidant and anti-microbial properties, royal jelly has been able to significantly increase the lifespan of queen bees. Thus, it is without surprise that royal jelly is commonly used around the globe in cosmetics , and as dietary supplements. While it is still being proven through more recent studies, these special properties of natural bee products are showing signs of greatly aiding patients from the toxic effects of chemotherapy.
Foods to Eat After Cancer Diagnosis!
No two cancers are the same. Go beyond the common nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions about food and supplements with confidence.
You May Like: Best Mouthwash For Chemo Patients
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Make sure to let your oncologist know of any symptoms you are having during your chemotherapy treatment, including mouth sores. Some reasons to alert your healthcare team between appointments include:
- Mouth sores that interfere with your ability to eat or drink
- Significant weight loss or signs of dehydration
- A white coating on your tongue, increasing redness, or bleeding that may be a sign of an infection
- A fever. Ask your oncologist what temperature he or she feels is a concern and should prompt you to call
Tooth And Denture Problems
Having radiotherapy to your mouth means you can be more at risk of getting tooth decay. So your radiotherapy specialist may arrange a dental appointment for you before you have this treatment. This may mean your dentist might need to remove any unhealthy teeth before you start.
Do make sure you go for your regular check ups after your course of treatment. And remember that if youve been having cancer treatment or are going to have it, tell your dentist before you have any dental work done.
Having fluoride treatment before your radiotherapy starts might help to protect your teeth. The fluoride treatment may be a mouthwash or gel you use every day.
If you have a sore and dry mouth it can make it difficult to wear dentures. You might be tempted to leave them out for long periods if theyre giving you a lot of trouble. But this isnt usually a good idea as your gums can change shape so your dentures no longer fit.
Clean your dentures at least twice a day and ask your doctor or dentist for advice.
Don’t Miss: Radiation Oncology Centers Of Nevada
What Can You Eat When You Have Mouth Sores From Chemo
When youre battling cancer, you need to maintain a healthy body weight. And the painful canker sores from chemotherapy definitely dont help with that.
Soft or liquid-based foods are especially helpful when youre suffering from mouth ulcers. Eating with a straw can also lessen the pain you feel when you eat. Yogurt, apple sauce, and soup are great choices for nutrition.
Avoid spicy, acidic, sharp, or crunch foods. These can irritate your mouth sores even more. To spare yourself from pain, avoid chocolate, alcohol, and chips.
If youre struggling to keep your weight, try meal replacement shakes. Although these arent the tastiest choice, they include all the protein intake you need to keep your energy levels up.
Ways To Prevent Mouth And Dental Problems
Your doctor or nurse may advise you to take these and other steps:
- Get a dental check-up before starting treatment. Before you start treatment, visit your dentist for a cleaning and check-up. Tell the dentist about your cancer treatment and try to get any dental work completed before starting treatment.
- Check and clean your mouth daily. Check your mouth every day for sores or white spots. Tell your doctor or nurse as soon as you notice any changes, such as pain or sensitivity. Rinse your mouth throughout the day with a solution of warm water, baking soda, and salt. Ask your nurse to write down the mouth rinse recipe that is recommended for you. Gently brush your teeth, gums, and tongue after each meal and before going to bed at night. Use a very soft toothbrush or cotton swabs. If you are at risk of bleeding, ask if you should floss.
Read Also: Does Everyone Lose Their Hair During Chemo
What Are Mouth Sores
Mouth sores are like little cuts or ulcers in your mouth. The sores may be very red or they may have small white patches in the middle. The sores can be painful. The sores can also make it hard for you to eat, talk, swallow and breathe. Sores can appear on any of the soft tissues of your lips or your mouth, including your gums, your tongue or the roof and floor of your mouth.
Other Ways Of Maintaining A Healthy Oral Care Protocol Include:
-Rinse mouth before and after meals and at bedtime with either normal saline , or salt and soda .
-If you smoke, it is extremely important that you stop. Your doctor will be able to help you with smoking cessation products and programs.
-Avoid toothpastes with whitening agents.
-Avoid products that irritate the mouth and gums, such as strong flavored commercial mouthwashes and those with alcohol.
-Keep lips moist with moisturizers. Avoid using Vaseline .
-Limit use of dental floss. Do not use if your platelet count is below 40,000.
-Do not use lemon or glycerin swabs or toothbrushes without soft bristles.
-Increase your fluid intake.
-Try to include foods high in protein in your diet.
-If you wear dentures, remove them whenever possible to expose gums to air. Loose fitting dentures can irritate the mouth and gums and should not be worn. Do not wear dentures if mouth sores are severe.
-Cryotherapy, which involves sucking on ice chips during chemotherapy administration, has shown some effect in preventing mucositis caused by 5-FU chemo treatments.
Oral cancer patients receiving radiation therapy should examine their mouths at least once a day for redness, sores, or signs of infection. The healthcare team should be notified if you notice worsening sores, white patches, pus, a hairy or thick feeling tongue, bleeding in the mouth, or development of a fever .
Read Also: Stage 4 Prostate Cancer How Long Will I Live
What Causes Mouth Sores
Understanding the cause of your mouth sores will help you better manage them with your health care team. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy to the head and neck area, and bone marrow/stem cell transplantation can all cause mouth sores. In the case of radiation therapy, symptoms may not develop right away. After radiation therapy is completed, it may take time for your mouth sores to improve.
Mouth sores may also be a sign of graft-versus-host disease, a common side effect of a bone marrow/stem cell transplant.
Coping With Mouth Pain And Sores
In addition to avoiding foods that can be painful and using mouth rinses, there are several other things that can be done to care for the mouth during chemotherapy. These can help ease the discomfort of mouth sores. You can:
- Visit the dentist
- Use a soft toothbrush when brushing teeth
- Avoid acidic fruits or juices
- Avoid sharp, salty, or spicy foods
- Eat soft, moist foods
You May Like: Risk Of Colon Cancer By Age
Mouth Sores From Chemo
One of the many unfortunate side effects of chemotherapy is mouth sores that form after treatment. These are also referred to as canker sores or mouth ulcers. These sores are often extremely painful and last for many days, making eating and sleeping much harder. We are going to explore why this happens as well as suggest some ways that you can treat these mouth sores and heal them faster.
Diagnosis For Mouth Ulcers
You may not need to see your doctor about a mouth sore unless they are persistent, you have other symptoms, or you are feeling very unwell. Your doctor will take your personal and medical history and do a physical exam to look at your sores.
Your doctor may look to see if you have large white patches on the roof of your mouth to rule out an infection called thrush or for signs of other conditions.
Your dentist can also examine your mouth and diagnose your mouth ulcers during annual checkups and cleanings.
Recommended Reading: 2 Weeks To Live Cancer
Controlling Pain From Mucositis
Pain is a significant problem related to mucositis and warrants early intervention. Actions that may help reduce the pain from mucositis:
-In mild cases, ice pops, water ice, or ice chips may help numb the area, but most cases require more intervention for relief or pain.
-Topical pain relievers include lidocaine, benzocaine, dyclonine hydrochloride , and Ulcerease® .
-Corticosteroids such as prednisone may be effective.
-Benadry® elixir, lozenges and analgesics may help reduce mouth pain.
-Swishing and gargling the anesthetic gel viscous Xylocaine 2% can help you eat if you have pain in your mouth, pharynx or esophagus. Use 1 tsp. viscous Xylocaine before meals. This may increase your ability to eat by mouth while the anesthetic effects are working.
-Cepacol Lozenges, Chloraseptic spray and lozenges, or the use of tea for swishing and gargling may be of some help.
-Frequent use of a gentle mouthwash may help reduce discomfort or pain. Mouthwashes, which combine enzyme based protection with soothing mouth moisturizers are available over the counter at drug stores. We recommend Salivea dry mouth products from Laclede, which are available on Amazon
-Swish diluted milk of magnesia, Carafate slurry or Mylanta around your mouth.
-Oral Balance is a dental gel that moistens the mouth while sores are healing and also has enzymes that help control oral bacteria. You may have to apply it often during the day. It can be obtained over the counter.
Relief For Painful Mouth Sores Due To Cancer Treatment
Chemotherapy and radiation kill rapidly growing cells, including those in the mouth and hair. As a result, some cancer patients undergoing these treatments develop painful mouth sores and ulcers, called oral mucositis. This inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat can cause considerable pain when eating, speaking, or drinking.
The sores also leave patients open to potentially life-threatening infections. Patients with severe mucositis may need intravenous nutrition, antibiotics to fight infections, pain medicines, and longer hospital stays. For years, doctors wondered what could be done to relieve oral mucositis in patients receiving cancer treatment.
You May Like: Natural Treatment For Chemo Induced Neuropathy
Foods To Eat And Avoid
Taking some time to think about what you can and cannot eat will pay off in big dividends. It’s much easier to limit problem foods before they cause problems than to cope with a sore mouth as a reminder.
- Eat a good diet with a variety of foods. Some vitamin deficiencies can make symptoms worse, and a good diet may help your body fight off infections.
- Avoid foods that are spicy, salty, or foods with citrus acid and tomato juice. Pineapple and strawberries are often tolerated better than other fruits, and grape or apple juice may cause less discomfort than citrus and tomato juices.
- Limit your intake of alcohol
- Avoid foods with extreme temperatures
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid foods that are sharp, such as crackers, toast, and dry cereal
- Try adding moist foods over dry foods, such as using gravy and sauces
- Good food choices can include mashed potatoes, cooked cereals, applesauce, cottage cheese, pudding, yogurt, smoothies , soups, Jello, baby food, or food pureed in the blender
- Drinking liquids through a straw is sometimes very helpful in keeping the fluids away from tender mouth sores