Cancer & Your Mouth

Many patients that undergo chemo or radiation therapy will unfortunately experience side effects such as:

•    Dry mouth (increase chance of cavities and tooth fractures)
•    Infection
•    Burning, peeling or swelling tongue
•    Change in taste (bitter & metallic)

High concentration fluoride treatments are the highly recommended. This can be done in office or at home. Custom made trays are made for both dental arches, Patients that experience dry mouth during and after treatment can benefit from fluoride treatments at home to prevent cavities. Radiance Dental Hygiene will fabricate custom trays and provide patients with a high concentration fluoride gel to help prevent the unwanted adverse effects of dry mouth on their teeth.

What Can I Do To Keep My Mouth Healthy?

You can do a lot to keep your mouth healthy during chemotherapy. The first step is to see your dental hygienist before treatment begins so we may begin regimens to help counteract the adverse side effects of chemotherapy. Once your treatment starts, it’s important to look in your mouth every day for sores or other changes. These tips can help prevent and treat a sore mouth:

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•    Keep your mouth moist (most important)
•    Drink a lot of water.
•    If you’re going to chew gum or eat candy, make sure it’s sugar free.
•    Use a saliva substitute to help moisten your mouth.
•    Clean your mouth, tongue, and gums.
•    Brush your teeth, gums, and tongue with an extra-soft toothbrush after meals and at bedtime.
•    If brushing hurts, soften the bristles in warm water
•    Use a high fluoride content toothpaste and mouth wash.
•    Avoid all forms of alcohol (even in mouth washes)
•    Floss your teeth gently every day.
•    Rinse your mouth several times a day with a solution of ¼ teaspoon of salt or 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 cup (8 ounces) of warm water. Follow with a plain water rinse
•    Dentures that don’t fit well can cause problems. Talk to your dental hygienist to help you choose the best course of action.
•    Choose foods that are good for you and easy to chew and swallow
•    Take small bites of food, chew slowly, and sip liquids with your meals
•    Eat soft, moist foods such as cooked cereals, mashed potatoes, and scrambled eggs
•    If you have trouble swallowing, soften your food with gravy, sauces, broth, yogurt, or other liquids
•    Sipping liquids with your meals will make eating easier

Remember to stay away from

•    Soda, juice, taco chips, and toothpicks
•    Sharp, crunchy foods, like taco chips and even toothpicks that could scrape or cut your mouth
•    Foods that are hot, spicy, or high in acid, like citrus fruits and juices, which can irritate your mouth
•    Sugary foods, like candy or soda, that could cause cavities
•    All tobacco & alcohol products

To book an appointment, contact Radiance Dental Hygiene