Patients undergoing chemotherapy often develop problems with their oral mucosa as a nasty side effect. The area can become inflamed, and white or grey sores will develop as a result. It is important to try and avoid oral mucositis, or to soothe the symptoms if it has already developed. Infections can delay the healing process.
Causes of oral mucositis
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can damage sensitive cells in mouth and throat. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy usually become symptomatic in the first week after starting the treatment. Patients undergoing radiotherapy will experience mucositis in the second week of the treatment and the symptoms will last longer (over six weeks).
- Nearly 100% of patients with tumours in the head or neck will develop oral mucositis when treated with radiotherapy
- An alarming 89% develop this oral mucositis when treated with a combination of chemo and radiation
- 40% of the patients treated with chemotherapy develop oral mucositis
Effects of oral mucositis
Oral mucositis can cause major discomfort, such as pain in the mouth and throat. Eating of hot, sour and spicy foods will make things worse. There may also be difficulties in chewing, swallowing and speaking, affecting your quality of life. The more severe the mucositis, the greater the risk of (life-threatening) infections.
Symptoms of oral mucositis
Oral mucositis may manifest itself with the sensation of a burning sensation in the mouth. Swallowing and chewing can be painful, consuming food and drinking becomes difficult or even impossible. This is particularly troublesome as patients need to get enough nutrients in this phase of recovery to strengthen.
You can recognise oral mucositis by the following symptoms:
- thick and sticky saliva
- change of taste
- bleeding and painful gums
- pale-looking oral mucus
- painful blisters in the mouth
Preventing oral mucositis
Preventing oral mucositis is not always possible. However, you can always try and reduce the symptoms of this awful problem.
Treating oral mucositis
Oral mucositis is a known side-effect of chemotherapy. The treatment will be focused on reducing the complaints. There are a couple of things you can do to reduce the side-effects:
- Choose a ultra soft brush to clean your teeth
- Avoid mouthwash with alcohol. Our oxygen fluid does not contain any alcohol and is therefore safe for use. It also doesn’t contain any chemical additives and is especially designed for the sensitive mouth.
- Eat soft foods, not too cold, not too warm
- Avoid spicy foods or foods with high amounts of salt
- Drink enough water or herbal tea
Frequent Asked Questions About Oral Mucositis
Can you use our products safely during chemotherapy?
Yes, Our products are based on natural ingredients, including active oxygen which has healing benefits.