When Cancer Treatments Cause Mouth Sores


Mouth sores can be a common and bothersome side effect of chemotherapy and some radiation treatments.

Sores (or ulcers) usually appear 5 to 10 days after chemotherapy begins or a couple of weeks after radiation treatments start. The sores can be very painful. Getting proper nutrition may become a concern because eating can make the pain worse. It can also make it hard to talk and swallow.

Why do sores occur?
Cells in the lining of the mouth normally divide, grow, and turn over quickly. These cells can be easily damaged by chemo and radiation. When the cells are damaged, the mouth becomes inflamed and sores develop. This is called mucositis. Then bacteria and fungi can infect the sores and make them worse.

How serious are mouth sores?
Sores make it hard for you to eat and drink, so they can keep you from getting the nutrition you need. If sores are severe, cancer therapy may have to be stopped for a while. For some people, sores may not heal until 2 to 4 weeks after treatment ends. Sometimes people need to go into the hospital to manage pain and prevent dehydration.

What to do?
It’s a good idea to take extra care of your mouth during cancer treatment. The American Dental Association recommends that you:

•See your dentist before you get treatment, especially if you have gum disease or are having any dental pain.
•Continue to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. If this becomes too painful, ask your dentist or doctor about swabs that can be used to clean your teeth.
•Rinse your mouth several times a day with a solution of baking soda and salt. Use 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water.
•Try to stop smoking. Smoking will make mouth sores worse and delay healing.
During cancer treatment, your doctor may recommend that you:

•Suck on ice chips and swish them around in your mouth just before and while you are getting chemotherapy. This can prevent some types of chemotherapy from reaching the mouth and reduce the chances of getting mouth sores.
•Use a rinse that contains a numbing medicine to relieve pain, or take pain medication for discomfort. Your doctor may prescribe other medications to help heal sores.
Other tips to help maintain good nutrition and lessen the pain of eating:

•Eat soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow. Or puree vegetables, fruits, and meats. Warm (not-too-hot or -cold) foods may be less painful.
•Avoid foods that can be irritating (citrus, spicy, acidic, or salty foods, and coarse, dry foods). Coffee and alcohol can also be irritating. Try using a straw to bypass your sore mouth.

Halle Berry

6 Things to Know Before Getting LASIK Surgery

You’d love to wake up in the morning without fumbling for your glasses. But LASIK eye surgery isn’t... ...

Halle Berry

How to Choose Anti-Wrinkle Cream?

Use of anti-ageing products for controlling wrinkles and fine lines is a common phenomenon nowadays. There are... ...

Halle Berry

How Anti-wrinkle Creams Work?

Use of anti-wrinkle creams is gaining popularity among the masses, as it is considered the safest and cheapest... ...

Halle Berry

Breathe Deeply! Tips for Being a Labor Coach

Giving birth involves a mix of physical pain and emotional joy. During childbirth, the mother does all the work.... ...

Halle Berry

Compiling a Family Health History

You may know that you got your brown eyes from your mom or your dimples from your dad’s side of the family.... ...

DASH: Designed for Every Body

DASH: Designed for Every Body

Diets are a lot like fashion. Depending on the season (and which celebrity is currently obsessed),...

Dietary Help for Iron-Deficiency Anemia

Dietary Help for Iron-Deficiency Anemia

If you have been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, your doctor has likely advised you to eat...

Simple Swaps! Make Healthy Food Even Healthier

Simple Swaps! Make Healthy Food Even Healthier

Looking for easy ways to boost the nutritional value in your food? ...

Does Advertising affect Eating Disorders?

Advertisements are all around us. What we see impacts us in some or the other way.

How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction

How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction

In the age of electronics, there are many trends that turn into addictions....

Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students

Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students

College life is the most enjoyable part in one’s life but it also inculcates sensibility and ...

Skin Care »

  • Global Hand Washing Day

    Global Hand Washing Day

    The primary practice aim was mobilize people and transform handwashing from being just an abstract idea to an automatic ...
  • Pre School Hand Hygiene

    Pre School Hand Hygiene

    Children are very notorious and they can literally give a deaf ear to their parents when the latter ...
  • Personality Type Diet Plan

    Personality Type Diet Plan

    The Personality Type Diet has been crafted by Robert Kushner. He is a known expert on ...
Easy Way to Stop Smoking
Easy Way to Stop Smoking

Medical practitioners all over the world have been constantly appealing ...

Self Hypnosis Techniques
Self Hypnosis Techniques

A self hypnosis session requires a strong suggestion, proper relaxation and delivering ...

How to Tighten Loose Skin
How to Tighten Loose Skin

Loose skin is a common problem that a lot of women as well . ...

Careers in Speech Pathology
Careers in Speech Pathology

With a rise in speech-related problems in people, speech pathologists are in great demand

8 SureFire Tips on How to Lose Inches Off Your Waist Fast

Want to know how to lose inches fast?

The 2 Types of Knee Braces With Side Stabilizer
The 2 Types of Knee Braces With Side Stabilizer

Do you have a problem with your knees?...

RiRi
Is It Easy To Quit Smoking Forever?

How do I dare to say that it is easy to quit smoking? ...

Kids and Martial Arts Can Be a Great Match
Kids and Martial Arts Can Be a Great Match

All parents want their children to grow up healthy and develop discipline...

Don't miss

Take It Easy: Preventing and Treating Shin Splints

What are shin splints? Typically, shin splints cause pain or tenderness along the shin bone from inflamed muscles,... ...

Fit to a Tee: The Basics of Golf

Think golf is just a slow-paced game for businessmen in plaid pants? Think again – it might be worth taking... ...

9 Ways to Exercise When You Don’t Have Time

You know exercise can help improve your health and lose weight. Yet, 1 in 4 adults doesn’t exercise, according... ...

The 2 Types of Knee Braces With Side Stabilizer

The 2 Types of Knee Braces With Side Stabilizer

Do you have a problem with your knees? Does the problem involve your kneecap going out of its normal position?...
Support Your Partner’s Healthy Habits

Support Your Partner’s Healthy Habits

No one ever claimed that changing a behavior is easy. Losing weight, revamping a diet, or making a commitment to...

In diabetes, what do you understand by 2 hour glucose tolerance test?

The 2 hour glucose tolerance test is done to diagnose diabetes. The test may be done if the fasting serum glucose...

Diet and Dental Caries in Children

When discussing dental carries – with respect to a child’s diet – you need to distinguish between the truly...

How to prevent Diabetes in Seniors/senior citizens?

Senior citizens must take good care of their health in order to prevent diabetes. This may be done in the following...
Non-Surgical Anti Ageing Treatments

Non-Surgical Anti Ageing Treatments

Although surgical anti-ageing treatments have made their presence felt in a big way, surgeries are known to have...