|1 – Feel better||Your cancer treatment may be easier if you work with your dentist and hygienist. Make sure you have a pretreatment dental checkup.|
|2 – Save teeth and bones||A dentist will help protect your mouth, teeth, and jaw bones from damage caused by radiation and chemotherapy. Children also need special protection for their growing teeth and facial bones.|
3 – Fight cancer
|Doctors may have to delay or stop your cancer treatment because of problems in your mouth. To fight cancer best, your cancer care team should include a dentist.|
Protect Your Mouth During Cancer Treatment
|Brush gently, brush often||
|Floss gently–do it daily||
|Keep your mouth moist||
|Eat and drink with care||
|Keep trying (Quit using tobacco)||
When Should You Call Your Cancer Care Team About Mouth Problems?
Take a moment each day to check how your mouth looks and feels.
Call your cancer care team when:
- You first notice a mouth problem
- An old problem gets worse
- You notice any changes you’re not sure about
Tips for Mouth Problems
Sore Mouth, Sore Throat
To help keep your mouth clean, rinse often with ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water. Follow with a plain water rinse. Ask your cancer care team about medicines that can help with the pain.
Rinse your mouth often with water, use sugar-free gum or candy, and talk to your dentist about saliva substitutes.
Call your cancer care team right away if you see a sore, swelling, bleeding, or a sticky, white film in your mouth.
Your cancer care team can help by giving you medicines to numb the pain from mouth sores and showing you how to choose foods that are easy to swallow.
If your gums bleed or hurt, avoid flossing the areas that are bleeding or sore, but keep flossing other teeth. Soften the bristles of your toothbrush in warm water.
Stiffness in Chewing Muscles
Three times a day, open and close your mouth as far as you can without pain. Repeat 20 times.
Rinse your mouth after vomiting with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water.
Brush your teeth after meals and before bedtime. Your dentist might have you put fluoride on your teeth to help prevent cavities.