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.
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Caring For Your Mouth
When Are Oral Problems Serious
Mouth problems are more serious if they interfere with eating and drinking because they can lead to dehydration and/or malnutrition. Its important to call your doctor or nurse if you have pain in your mouth, lips, or throat that makes it difficult to eat, drink, or sleep or if you have a fever of 100.5 °F or higher.
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Mouth Sores From Chemo And Radiation: What To Do
Heres some good advice: Take care of your mouth before and during cancer treatment. Your mouth can be affected by some chemotherapy or targeted therapy drugs or radiation to the head and neck area. These problems can range from mild irritation to conditions that make it difficult to eat, drink or speak. They may affect the way foods taste and increase your risk for cavities and infections. Some of these conditions will go away in time, but others will require treatment to heal or lessen the symptoms. Severe problems may delay or even stop your treatment.
What To Look For
- Sores in the mouth that may be red, or may have small white patches in the middle. They may bleed or become infected.
- Swelling in the gums, mouth, or throat
- Pain or discomfort when you chew or swallow. This may also feel like a sore throat.
- Small ulcers, bleeding, or sores in mouth, on gums, or on or under tongue
- A white or yellow film, patches, or pus in the mouth or on the tongue
- Increased mucus in the mouth
- Feeling of dryness, mild burning, or pain when eating hot and cold foods
- Heartburn or indigestion
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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.
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Top 3 Products For Treating Mouth Sores
Mouth sores are a common side effect of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. They can make it difficult to eat, speak, and even smile. Fortunately, many products are available to help you relieve the pain and discomfort caused by mouth sores.
In this blog, we will discuss three of the best products for chemotherapy mouth sores and radiation mouth sores, what each product does, and how they can help you find relief.
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Preventing Mouth Pain And Sores
Here are some suggestions to help you prevent mouth pain and sores:
- Get a dental checkup early. If possible, have a dental checkup before starting treatment. Tooth decay, cavities and other dental problems can increase your risk of infection.
- Keep your mouth clean.
- Brush your teeth, gums and tongue using a very soft toothbrush moistened with warm water and a fluoride toothpaste.
- If you use a water flosser, such as WaterPik®, use the weakest setting.
- Floss daily, but if you have areas of bleeding or sores, avoid those areas until they heal. Use alcohol-free mouthwash and toothpaste. If you are not sure if a product contains alcohol, check with your pharmacist. Your dentist or doctor may recommend a prescription mouth rinse.
Certain medications and radiation therapy to the jaw area can cause a side effect known as osteonecrosis of the jaw. Ask your doctor if your treatment puts you at risk for this condition. If you see your dentist before you begin treatment, they may make recommendations that could lower your risk. Symptoms include signs of infection in the gums gums that dont heal after dental work, loose teeth, or a numb or very heavy feeling in the jaw bone visible in your mouth or the feeling that a bone is sticking out of your jaw.
Other Side Effects of Chemotherapy
For those undergoing chemotherapy, there are several other side effects to treatment.
Medication Mouth Sores From Chemo
If you develop mouth sores from chemo, make sure you inform your doctor. They can offer pain relief medication and topical treatments. Some common treatments for chemotherapy canker sores are:
- Coating agents: This type of medication coats the inside of your mouth. By covering the mouth sores, the irritation, and pain you feel when you eat or talk will be much less noticeable.
- Topical painkillers: You have to put these pain killers on top of your mouth sores. While these eliminate the pain, they also eliminate most feelings in your mouth. Be very careful how you eat or brush your teeth. You may inadvertently injure yourself.
- Anti-infection medication: Your mouth sores can become infected. To prevent this, your doctor may recommend antifungal, antibacterial, or antiviral medication.
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How To Manage Chemo Mouth Sores
Chemotherapy is a group of powerful medicines that can help slow or stop some cancers. But chemo can affect healthy cells in your body, too, like those that line the inside of your mouth and the kind that make saliva. The result may be dryness, tenderness, and sores inside your mouth that make it hard to eat or even talk.
Theyâre usually at their worst about 7 days into your treatment and typically go away around 10 to 14 days after your treatment ends. But there are some things you can do to help prevent the sores and manage them when you get them:
Use a soft-bristle toothbrush: Itâs important to be gentle with the delicate tissue of your gums. You can make the bristles even softer by running them under hot water. Or you can go a step further and clean your teeth with simple cotton swabs or sponges made specially for your mouth.
Brush often, but lightly: Brush or clean your teeth after each meal and at bedtime. Whether you use a soft toothbrush or something else, take care to do it gently so you donât damage the delicate tissue inside.
Floss every day: It helps keep your mouth clean and prevents the buildup of bacteria that can lead to infection. As with brushing your teeth, do it gently so you donât damage your gums or cause bleeding. It’s best to avoid areas that bleed or hurt, but itâs still important to floss the other areas.
Eat the right foods:
Treatment Of Mouth Sores And Pain
Dental checkups before treatment, and especially before head and neck radiation therapy, can help prevent and minimize mouth sores. Dentists can help show you how to care for your mouth and can treat cavities or oral infections before cancer treatment starts. It’s important to talk to your cancer care team about the best treatment for your situation. Although more research is needed to find the best treatment plan to manage mouth sores and pain, some options might include good mouth care and mouth rinses, reducing treatment doses, cryotherapy, or laser therapy.
More Tips For Dealing With Mouth Sores
Here are a few more things you can try at home that may help ease pain from mouth sores:
- Chew ice chips to help numb painful areas.
- Stop smoking or using tobacco products.
- Dab on an over-the-counter oral pain medication to ease discomfort.
- Limit or avoid spicy, salty, and acidic foods.
- Choose soft foods that dont require you to chew a lot.
- Make sure your food is not too hot or too cold.
- Pass up foods with sharp edges, such as chips, that could be painful to eat.
- Rinse your mouth often with cool water, a medicated rinse, saltwater, or baking soda solutions.
- Take care of your teeth and gums with good dental hygiene practices.
Changing Your Eating Habits
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How Can Chemotherapy Damage Teeth & Gums
Chemotherapy causes many changes to the oral environment, including these:
Slowed or Halted Growth of New Cells in the Mouth
Damage from Radiation Therapy
Changes in Mouth Bacteria
The mouth houses its own ecosystem of bacteria. Bad bacteria, like plaque, is acid-forming and eats away at tooth enamel. It also causes irritation and inflammation in the gums and can lead to gum disease .
Good bacteria work to reduce bad bacteria and inflammation. These bacteria also help to digest food.
Chemotherapy and radiation change the lining of the mouth and affect the salivary glands. This can upset the natural balance of bacteria in the mouth and result in harmful bacteria, causing a number of oral health problems.
Why Does Cancer Treatment Cause Mouth Sores
Cancer cells can grow very quickly. The aim of cancer treatment is to stop or slow down that growth. The cells in the mucous membranes lining your mouth are also fast-growing cells, so cancer treatments affect them, too.
Cancer treatments also keep the cells in your mouth from being able to repair themselves efficiently when theyre damaged.
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Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse
Biotene can be one of the bestmouth sore mouthwash options if you are looking for variety and portability.You can get it as a standard mouthwash or as a moisturizing spray bottle that you can take with you on the go. This mouthwash helps to relieve dryness and encourages saliva flow to help moisten and lubricate the mouth it’s also alcohol-free, so it won’t further irritate your mouth. While this product is not specifically made for people with radiation mouth sores or chemo mouth sores, it’s still recommended because mouth dryness can aggravate the ulcers that develop from these treatments. When using this product, you should keep in mind that this lubricant will help you relieve some of your symptoms, but it won’t help treat your mouth sores directly. Moreover, if you are someone going through chemotherapy and you are experiencing changes in your sense of taste , you might want to consider using the Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Gel instead of the other Biotene products, which are mint flavored. The gel is portable, alcohol-free, flavor-free, and lasts up to four hours.
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.
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Mouth Sores Caused By Cancer Treatment: How To Cope
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 30, 2022.
If you’re about to start cancer treatment, know that certain treatments can cause mouth sores. The term that health care providers use for mouth sores is oral mucositis.
Mouth sores can hurt and feel uncomfortable. They can range from minor problems to severe complications. They could make you stop your cancer treatment. These sores can make it hard to drink and could make you lose weight because you can’t eat enough.
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
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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.
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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.
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