Chemotherapy and targeted therapy can change your mouth mucosal lining. It can become very sensitive and painful. Thus, cancer patients should practice oral care. Good oral hygiene is important to minimize bacteria growing in your mouth because this triggers more inflammation. More inflammation may mean more sores in the mouth.
Remember to take care of your mouth: “BRIM”
B – Brush and Floss – Use a soft toothbrush and mild toothpaste with fluoride to clean your teeth every after a meal or at least twice a day. Floss your teeth if you are able, to remove food particles in between teeth.
RI – Rinse often – Rinse swish and spit 3x every after brushing or eating
M – Moisturize – You can keep your mouth moist by sipping water often. Aim to drink at least 8 cups of water a day. To keep lips moist you can apply some oil or water based lubricants.
Here’s a MOUTH RINSE BLAND RECIPE from ISOO/MASCC that you can use: Mix 1tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda and 4 cups water then use this for the day (Remember to make a new batch per day!). Rinse, swish and spit the solution every two hours.
You might find eating difficult too because of the mouth sores. However, you have to remember to choose high protein and high calorie food to give your body nutrients and energy for your daily activities. Soft and blended foods are preferable and avoid acidic foods that may irritate your mouth. Taste change can happen, so small frequent feedings may be done or you can also use a straw to be able to take in more food.
If you feel pain when you swallow, your pain affects eating or drinking, you develop mouth sores or your mouth feels swollen please consult your oncologist for more advice.
Know more about how to care for your skin in “Staying Beautiful and Hopeful: A Cancer Patient’s Skin Guide”.
How to care for your mouth during active chemotherapy. Northeast Cancer Center, Sudbury, Ontario. 2014
Oral Care. International Society of Oral Oncology 2016.
Skin Care for Hope is a local skincare brand that offers mild, safe, and moisturizing skincare products that are dermatologically approved and specially formulated for sensitive skin of cancer patients, bringing quality of life through hope and healing.
It is committed to providing safe and gentle skin care products that are paraben-free with moisturizing and calming ingredients; Educating and promoting good skin care and supportive care for those with sensitive skin; Bringing together a compassionate and collaborative skincare community that puts God’s light and hope at the center of it all.
For more information on skincare tips, advice, as well as gentle and moisturizing skincare products for your self-care journey, follow @SkinCareforHope on Facebook.