Many cancer patients aren’t fully prepared for the wide range of health issues and side effects that chemotherapy and other treatments can cause. One that often surprises them is dry mouth, and chemotherapy can lead to severe dry mouth that in turn can cause numerous problems.
Dry mouth is caused by a reduction in saliva, and saliva is responsible for washing away harmful bacterial and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria within the mouth. As a result, those with extreme dry mouth are at risk for numerous oral health issues including:
- Bad breath
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Mouth pain
- And more
As such, it’s important to combat against dry mouth with an oral rinse. However, it’s vital that you don’t just purchase the wrong type of rinse. In particular, look for a rinse that is completely alcohol free. Alcohol based rinses can irritate lesions and ulcers and actually lead to increased dry mouth.
Instead, focus on an oral rinse that refreshes the mouth and improves moisture levels and that is completely alcohol free. Glycerin based mixtures including demulcent and humectant are the best options since they will coat the mouth and help improve normal saliva functions, and will help reduce mouth sores and overall pain – two things that alcohol based mixtures can actually make worse.