Health Tip: Caring for Mouth Sores From Cancer Treatment

-- Chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer can lead to small, painful mouth sores.

The American Cancer Society offers these suggestions to help ease the pain and make it easier to eat:

  • Since brushing teeth can be painful, switch to a softer brush. And soften it with hot water before you brush.
  • Use a gentle toothpaste that doesn't contain hydrogen peroxide.
  • Rinse your mouth before and after you eat with a solution of baking soda, salt and water. Don't use commercial mouthwashes, which may irritate the sores.
  • Moisturize your lips with lotion or balm.
  • Swab the sores with Maalox or Milk of Magnesia -- if your doctor recommends it.
  • Drink beverages and liquid foods with a straw.
  • Stick to foods that are soft, moist and cold.

Posted: March 2009


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