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How to Keep Your Mouth Healthy during Chemotherapy

Posted on 1/20/2016 by Dr. Andrew Zeiger
A woman undergoing a chemotherapy treatment.If you are going through chemotherapy to treat your cancer, you obviously have a lot of health concerns. However, keeping your mouth healthy should also be a priority. Fortunately, by following a few simple steps, you can keep your mouth healthy while you continue to improve the health of the rest of your body.

Keep Your Mouth Moist

Dry mouth is a problem with chemotherapy patients, mostly because the medications that you will need to take can reduce your saliva production. To keep your mouth moist, make sure that you drink a lot of water. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help, and in the most severe cases, your dentist might prescribe a special saliva substitute.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

It is important to make sure you are regularly brushing, using an extra-soft toothbrush that will avoid damage to your weakened tooth enamel or gums. You should also avoid mouthwash that includes alcohol and always floss gently in order to avoid areas that might bleed easily.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

The most important tip in keeping your mouth healthy is to visit your dentist regularly. This should be done at least one month prior to starting treatments, if possible. Your dentist will ensure that your mouth is healthy beginning treatments, allowing you the opportunity to minimize the difficult effects of chemo.

Remember Your Dentures

If you are a denture wearer, request a consultation with your dentist to have your appliance checked. This will ensure that your dentures fit well so that you can avoid additional irritation while you are going through treatments.

Alter Your Diet

What you eat and drink are also important during chemotherapy. Make sure that you are choosing nutritious foods, especially if your appetite is impaired. You might also want to avoid foods that could cause your mouth discomfort, including acidic and spicy foods. Instead, stick to bland, soft food items.

Please contact us if you have any questions about chemotherapy.

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