Oral Mucositis As A Side Effect Of Lymphoma Treatment
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy affect healthy cells as well as lymphoma cells. This includes cells in the lining of your mouth, which can lead to oral mucositis. Some targeted treatments can also cause oral mucositis.
Your medical team should talk to you about your risk of developing oral mucositis before you begin treatment for lymphoma. There are some things you can do to help manage oral mucositis. If it becomes problematic, you might be given treatment for oral mucositis.
What Are Mouth Sores
Mouth sores are common ailments that affect many people at some point in their lives.
These sores can appear on any of the soft tissues of your mouth, including the lips, inside of your cheeks, gums, tongue, and floor and roof of your mouth.
Mouth sores, which include canker sores, are usually a minor irritation and last only 1 or 2 weeks. In some cases, they can indicate an infection from a virus, such as herpes simplex, or more severe causes, such as mouth cancer.
Sores in your mouth caused by a common or short-lasting condition such as:
- canker sores
- mouth cancer
- pemphigus vulgaris
Keep reading to learn about the causes and symptoms of mouth sores and how to recognize and get rid of them.
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.
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Best Toothpaste For Chemo Mouth Sores
It is important to find a natural and gentle toothpaste to use when you are dealing with chemo sores. We have researched the best toothpastes for mouth sores and included the most gentle toothpastes that do not include sodium laurel sulfate, which is a common irritant that can cause mouth sores. It is also very important that you find a good toothpaste, as it can make a big difference in preventing sores.
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.
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Take Care Of Your Dental Hygiene
No matter how painful or uncomfortable it may be, you absolutely need to continue your dental hygiene routine. Brush your teeth, floss, and clean your tongue twice a day. If brushing or flossing becomes too painful, there are alternatives that can keep your dental hygiene up without much effort.
Ask your doctor or dentist to recommend a dental swab to replace your toothbrush. Youll have an easier time taking care of your oral hygiene.
Tips For Keeping Your Teeth Clean
- Clean your mouth and teeth gently every morning, evening and after each meal.
- Use a childs, or soft bristled, toothbrush.
- Remove and clean dentures every morning, evening, and after each meal.
- If toothpaste stings, or brushing your teeth makes you feel sick, try a bicarbonate of soda mouthwash instead .
- Half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water and then gargled can be soothing.
- Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol – check with your pharmacist if you are unsure.
- Use dental floss daily but be very gentle so that you don’t harm your gums – don’t floss if you have very low platelets.
- Use lip balm to keep your lips moist.
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Hand Foot And Mouth Disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is caused by viruses in the enterovirus family. Its common in children under the age of 5.
It causes painful red blisters in the mouth and on the tongue and gums. You may also experience flat or raised red spots located on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, buttocks, or genital area. On darker skin tones, bumps may appear skin-colored or grayish-brown in color.
Other symptoms may include:
of people with this condition may develop oral cancer. If you have this condition, visit a doctor, who may take a sample of the cells for diagnosis.
Regular dental appointments may help catch leukoplakia.
Caring For Dentures And Removable Appliances
- Make sure you clean them properly every day.
- Do not wear your dentures while you sleep at night.
- If you are having radiation to your head or neck, use your dental appliances only when needed they can irritate the tissues in your mouth and may be the source of a fungal infection.
- Weight gain or loss can cause dentures to lose their fit. If this happens, have your dentist adjust your dentures to avoid causing injury or irritation.
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How To Treat Mouth Sores From Chemo
There are many natural remedies and effective products for treating mouth sores that are worth trying. We have laid out the best natural remedies and most effective products available for healing mouth sores. Typically, for more severe mouth sores, it is best to find an effective product that is designed to treat the mouth sore and provide lasting relief.
Be Texture Conscious With Your Food
Dry foods like crackers, cookies, chips, and pretzels may taste delicious. But when you have mouth sores, they can be your worst enemy. The abrasive textures and rough edges of these foods can actually rub your mouth sores raw and make them worse. This can sometimes even lead to inadvertent bleeding!
You want to always ensure that all the foods you are eating are soft in texture while you have mouth sores. And while a nice toasted sub sandwich will sound amazing, the fallout from eating such a rough substance is sure to leave you in a raw situation.
With mouth sores, you really need to stick to soft non-abrasive textures. These dont have to be just soups and stews though. You can absolutely eat foods that are softer in texture like cold sandwiches, meals cooked in a slow cooker, pasta, mashed potatoes, smoothies, and the like.
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Folate Deficiency And Anemia
A folate deficiency is caused by not having enough folate, also known as vitamin B9. Folate is an important B vitamin used to make and repair DNA. Its critical to proper development in embryos. Being deficient in folate can also lead to folate deficiency anemia.
Anemia occurs when your supply of red blood cells is too low. When your red blood cells are reduced, damaged, or impaired, you may have problems transporting enough oxygen throughout your body. It can have an impact on different organ systems in your body.
Both folate deficiency and anemia can cause mouth sores. While folate deficiency can cause anemia, other types of anemia, like iron deficiency anemia, can cause mouth sores as well. These sores may look like small mouth ulcers or canker sores and be white, gray, yellow, or red in color.
- gastrointestinal conditions such as ulcers, IBS, and cancer
Chronic anemia may be related to autoimmune diseases, inherited genetic conditions, overexposure to lead, and other conditions.
Tips For Eating With A Sore Mouth
- Avoid neat spirits, tobacco, hot spices, garlic, onion, vinegar and salty food.
- Moisten meals with gravies and sauces to make swallowing easier.
- Try to drink at least one and a half litres of fluid a day have tea or coffee, fruit and vegetable juices, soft drinks or water.
- Tell your doctor if you have mouth ulcers.
- Avoid acidic fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, or lemons.
- Chew gum to help you to produce more saliva to keep your mouth moist.
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Dont Let Your Mouth Become Too Dry
Use care when ingesting caffeine, salt, acidic foods and liquids. While a nice cup of tea or your favorite cola drink may sound refreshing, the high acidity and caffeine can actually leave you more dehydrated than when you started. Salt, while it has many re-hydrating properties, can actually dry out your mouth if it is taken in excessive quantities.
Make certain to drink lots of fluids during cancer treatment. Dont make it difficult for your mouth to get hydration. The most logical way to stay hydrated is, of course, by ingestion. If possible, frequently sip water and rinse it around your mouth before swallowing.
During my mothers cancer treatments, I would physically hold a cup of water with a straw for her to sip every hour to ensure she stayed properly hydrated.
You can also try an over the counter dry mouth rinse. Many oncologists will recommend a dry mouth rise for those with chronic dry mouth. These can help, but are not an end-all-beat-all solution to ending dry mouth. Many oncologists and cancer fighters report success with dry mouth rinses.
Other cancer fighters have reported success with a salt water rinse. Simply add a tablespoon of salt to 8 ounces of water and stir well. Rinse in your mouth like a mouth wash. Spit out the mixture when done. Do not swallow the salt water. It will make you nauseous.
Be Conscious Of Heat: Thermal And Spicy
While it may be soothing to your throat to drink a nice hot cup of tea or broth, hot liquids can make mouth sores worse by burning the already irritated skin. This will set the healing process back and make it more difficult for your mouth sores to heal quickly.
I normally strongly espouse the use of spicy flavors in cooking. But when you have mouth sores, you want to be very careful with the amount of spiciness that you ingest during treatment. A touch of spice will naturally warm up a dish. However, if you add too much spicy, the burning sensation that spicy seasonings naturally impart in your food will physically burn the open sores in your mouth. This is not something you want, especially when dealing with all the other numerous treatment side effects that occur. A quick tip to balance spicy flavors while you cook is to utilize vinegar to help cool down the spiciness of a recipe.
Mouth Sores in Kids
This is especially important to remember in kids who are fighting cancer. They usually do not have the same level of pain tolerance that an adult has. Any pain added can be excruciating. A perfect example of this are the ear infections that I used to get as a child. At the time, they seemed like the most painful thing that could ever possibly happen to me. But now, being an adult and having much better control of both my body and perception of pain, I am able to tolerate much more painful things on a daily basis.
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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.
How Can Mouth Sores Be Prevented/managed
In some circumstances, the use of ice chips or ice-cold water may assist in the prevention of mouth sores. Your care team will discuss this with you if it is appropriate in your clinical situation. Good oral hygiene and treatment of symptoms are key to managing the effects of mouth sores.
- If you have pain, you may be offered topical analgesia or systemic medication which should be taken regularly
- Rinse mouth after each meal and before bed with a bland mouth rinse Half teaspoon of salt to one glass water or one teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate to one glass water
- Consider strategies to quit smoking
- Maintain good oral intake, as able Ensure you drink plenty of water and other beverages, eat a soft, minced or pureed diet, add extra sauces or gravies to moisten meals, avoid foods that are acidic, hot, coarse or hard, and salty or spicy, consume small, frequent, high protein, high energy meals, consider talking to a dietitian who can support you to manage your diet
- Maintain good oral care, as able Brush your teeth with a soft or electric toothbrush after meals and before bed, replace toothbrush regularly to minimise infection, if flossing is routine continue this at least daily, avoid flossing if youre at risk of thrombocytopenia as this may irritate your gums and cause bleeding, moisten lips with Vaseline, soft paraffin or lip balm, and ensure regular cleaning of dentures and removal of dentures before bed
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Get A Laser Treatment For Your Canker Sores In Nyc
Laser treatment for mouth sores caused by chemo has been an effective way of treating sores. Its the quickest and most effective way to relieve your oral pain. Laser treatment gives cancer patients a chance to focus on their recovery instead of their discomfort.
At Advanced Dental Arts, were proud to offer laser treatments to alleviate mouth sores. Providing this major difference in peoples lives is why were proud to be your favorite Greenwich Village dental practice.
If youre experiencing mouth sores from chemo in New York City, and youd like an effective treatment for it, come visit us. Book an appointment at Advanced Dental Arts today!
Looking After Your Mouth
- Discuss any dental issues with your oncologist or haematologist before seeing the dentist. If you need any dental work, tell your dentist youre having chemotherapy.
- Use a soft toothbrush to clean your teeth twice a day.
- Rinse your mouth four times a day with 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1/4 tsp salt dissolved in a cup of warm water. Avoid mouthwashes with alcohol.
- Sip fluids, especially water, and eat moist foods such as casseroles or soups if you have a dry mouth. Moisten foods with gravy or sauce.
- Soothe tender gums or mouth with plain yoghurt.
- Sucking on ice during chemotherapy sessions may help to prevent mouth ulcers.
- Blend foods to make them easier to eat. Try smoothies made of fruit and yoghurt.
- Avoid smoking and alcoholic drinks, as well as very hot foods and spicy, acidic or coarse foods . These can all make mouth sores worse.
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What To Do If You Have A Sore Mouth Or Throat:
Eat soft, bland, creamy foods high in calories and protein, such as cream-based soups, cheeses, yogurt, milkshakes, pudding, ice cream, or commercial liquid protein supplements. If you’re only able to eat a little without pain, eating higher-calorie foods will help give your body enough energy. Eating a teaspoon of cold sour cream will soothe and “coat the runway” , making it easier for other foods to go down.
Soak your food. Soak cold cereal in milk so it’s soggy when you eat it. Soak rice and pasta in sauce so they’re tender. Soak your toast in your egg yolk before you eat it. This will be less irritating to your sore mouth.
Chop your food. Chop up your meat, poultry, or fish into small pieces or put it through the blender. You can mix it with a sauce or low-fat gravy.
Eat cooked vegetables and canned fruit. Raw ones may hurt your mouth. You can also put fruits and vegetables through a blender.
Eat chilled foods such as popsicles, applesauce, flavored gelatin, and sherbet. The coolness is soothing to a sore mouth.
Avoid tart, acidic, or salty foods. Stay away from citrus and tomato-based foods. They can sting open sores.
Avoid rough foods such as dry toast, pretzels, and granola. They can be irritating to a sore mouth.
Avoid spices that can irritate a sore mouth such as chili powder, curry, and hot sauces.
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:
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