Cancer treatment: pain in the mouth, gums or throat
Good oral care is important during Cancer treatment. Some anticancer medicines can cause sores in the mouth and throat, a condition called mucositis stomatitis. Anticancer medicines can also cause these tissues to dry out and irritate or may cause bleeding. Patients who have not been eating well since the start of chemotherapy are more likely to have sores in their mouths.
Canker sores, tender gums and a sore throat or the esophagus is often the result of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or infection. If you are under treatment for cancer and have pain in your mouth or gums, consult your doctor to make sure that the pain is a side effect of the treatment and not an unrelated dental problem. The doctor can give you medicines to control pain in your mouth and throat. Your dentist can also give you advice on how to care for your mouth.
In addition to being painful, canker sores can be infected by many of the worms that live in the mouth. All measures must be taken to prevent infections, since they can be difficult to combat during chemotherapy and can lead to serious problems.
How can I keep my mouth, gums and throat healthy?
Talk to your doctor to see your dentist, if possible, at least several weeks before starting chemotherapy. You may need to have your teeth cleaned and to take care of any problem such as cavities, abscesses of the gums, gum disease, or poorly adjusted dentures. Ask your dentist to show you the best ways to brush your teeth and floss during chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can increase your chances of getting cavities, so your dentist may suggest that you use a rinse or fluoride gel every day to help prevent cavities. Brush your teeth and gums after every meal. Use a soft toothbrush and a soft touch. Brushing too hard can damage the soft tissues of the mouth. Ask your doctor, nurse or dentist to suggest a toothbrush and / or special toothpaste if your gums are very sensitive. Rinse with warm salt water after meals and before bedtime. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after each use and store it in a dry place. Avoid mouth rinses that contain any amount of alcohol. Ask your doctor or nurse to suggest a mild or medicated mouthwash that you can use. For example, mouthwash with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is not irritating.
If you develop sores in your mouth, tell your doctor or nurse. You may need medications to treat the sores. If the sores are painful or prevent you from eating, you can try these ideas:
How can I deal with the sores in my mouth?
Ask your doctor if there is anything that you can apply directly to the ulcers or to prescribe a medication that you can use to relieve the pain. Eat cold foods or at room temperature. Hot and hot foods can irritate the sensitive mouth and throat. Eat soft and soothing foods, such as ice cream, milk shakes, Baby food, soft fruits (bananas and applesauce), mashed potatoes, cooked cereals, boiled or scrambled eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, macaroni and cheese, custards, puddings and gelatin. You can also puree cooked foods in the blender to make them softer and easier to eat. Avoid irritating and acidic foods and juices, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit and lemon); spicy or salty foods; and rough or coarse foods such as raw vegetables, granola, popcorn and toast.
How can I cope with dry mouth?
Ask your doctor if you should use an artificial saliva product to moisten your mouth. Drink lots of liquids. Ask your doctor if you can suck on pieces of ice, popsicles or hard candy without sugar. You can also chew gum without sugar. (Sorbitol, a sugar substitute that is found in many foods without sugar, can cause Diarrhea in many people If diarrhea is a problem for you, check the labels of the sugar-free foods before you buy them and limit their use. Moisten dry foods with butter, margarine, gravy, sauces or broth. Crunchy dunk, dry foods in soft liquids. Eat soft and pureed foods. Use lip balm or petroleum jelly if your lips dry. Take a bottle of water with you that you can drink often.
Certain foods will irritate the already tender mouth and will hinder chewing and swallowing. By carefully choosing the foods you eat and by taking good care of your mouth, teeth and gums, you can usually make it easier to eat. Here are some suggestions that can help:
Try soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow, such as: smoothies, bananas, applesauce, fruit nectars, cottage cheese, yogurt, mashed potatoes, puddings, scrambled eggs, and oatmeal. Avoid foods or liquids that may irritate your mouth, such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, sauces or tomato juices, spicy or salty foods, raw vegetables, granola, and commercial mouthwashes that contain alcohol. Cook food until tender and tender. Cut the food into small pieces. Use a blender or food processor to puree your food. Mix foods with butter, margarine, thin sauce or sauce to make it easier to swallow. Use a straw to drink fluids. Use a spoon smaller than normal, such as a baby spoon. Try foods that are cold or at room temperature. Hot foods can irritate the sensitive mouth and throat. Try to drink hot broth; It can relieve sore throat. Try sucking pieces of ice, although often things that are too cold or too hot can be uncomfortable. To experience. If swallowing is difficult, tilting your head back or moving forward can help. If your teeth and gums hurt, your dentist may recommend a special product to clean your teeth. Rinse your mouth often with water to eliminate food and bacteria and promote healing. Ask your doctor about anesthetic pills and sprays that can numb your mouth and throat long enough for you to eat.
To learn more about the side effects of cancer therapy and how to cope with them, read the article "Chemotherapy and cancer treatment, coping with side effects".
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