At the moment, chemotherapy remains one of the most effective ways to combat cancer. But it’s not without its own side effects, and those who are undergoing treatment will face a variety of issues related to their chemotherapy. One area that is often overlooked is that of your oral health.
Based on information from the NIDCR, one of the primary issues that patients can face comes from dry mouth. The treatments can dehydrate the mucus membranes of the mouth and lead to issues including inflammation and ulcerations. This in turn leads to increased pain, swelling, tenderness, and more – it can also lead to many patients eating less simply because their mouth hurts. Add to this the increased risk of oral infection, and it becomes clear that dry mouth is a major issue in chemotherapy patients.
Combating this issue is important. Some of the best methods you can take include:
- Drinking lots of water
- Sucking on ice chips
- Chewing gum to keep saliva secretions up
- Using oral health rinses and mouthwashes that don’t contain alcohol
- Using fluoride based toothpastes
If you’ll keep these tips in mind you should be able to reduce the problem of dry mouth and give your oral health the boost that it needs to stay in the best shape possible during your treatment – and beyond.