Side effect management guide

5 WAYS TO MANAGE DRY MOUTH DURING CANCER TREATMENT

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Xerostomia also known as dry mouth is one of the most common oral complications present in the patients receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer treatment. Patients with xerostomia often complain of difficulty in chewing, swallowing, speaking and wearing dentures. Lack of salivary flow make them prone to dental caries and other dental problems.

Here are 5 ways to manage Xerostomia

1. Intraoral Topical Agents

  • This include chewing gums, saliva stimulants, and substitutes.
  • The use of sugarless chewing gum or candy-containing xylitol or sorbitol can be recommended to enhance salivary secretions to prevent dry mouth and resulting caries.
  • Small amount of anti-xerostomia dentifrice can be applied on smooth dental surfaces so as to activate intraoral bacterial systems.
  • Saliva substitute in the form of solutions, sprays, gels, lozenges, which can mimic natural saliva and provide temporary relief from symptoms can be used.

2. Frequent Visit To The Dentist

  • Patients should visit their dentist regularly as they are more susceptible to dental problems.
  • Dental hygiene has to be maintained by brushing twice a day and flossing regularly.
  • As dental caries can occur as a result of hypo-salivation use of fluoride and chlorhexidine rinses may also be useful.
  • Denture should not be worn in night and should be kept in water overnight.

3. Dietary Recommendations

  • Avoid sugary, acidic, spicy, excessively hot and cold food that irritates soft tissues.
  • Foods like carrots or celery may help patients with residual salivary gland function.

4. Always Stay Hydrated

  • Frequent sips of water (every 10 mins) is advisable
  • Sucking on ice chips may be helpful
  • Use lip lubricants like petroleum frequently which will alleviate some symptoms

5. Avoid Substances Which Can Act As Irritants

  • Tea, coffee and soft drinks containing caffeine should not be consumed as they act as irritant and dehydrate the mouth.
  • Avoid use of alcohol based mouth-rinses.
  • Avoid Alcohol and tobacco consumption.

Written by Dr Neha Sharma ( Dentist & Public Health Professional passionate to provide quality health education)

References

  • Villa A, Connell CL, Abati S. Diagnosis and management of xerostomia and hyposalivation. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. 2015;11:45–51. doi:10.2147/TCRM.S76282.
  • Alsakran Altamimi M. Update knowledge of dry mouth- A guideline for dentists. African Health Sciences. 2014;14(3):736–742. doi:10.4314/ahs.v14i3.33.
  • Wong HM. Oral Complications and Management Strategies for Patients Undergoing Cancer Therapy. The Scientific World Journal. 2014;2014:581795. doi:10.1155/2014/581795.
  • Villa, Alessandro, Christopher L Connell, and Silvio Abati. 2015. “Diagnosis and management of xerostomia and hyposalivation.” Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management 11 (1): 45–51. doi:10.2147/TCRM.S76282. http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S76282.
Raghuveer Surupa

Founder, dignite.in | Raghuveer is an alumnus of IIM Ranchi, who has worked in pharmaceutical industry for over 5 years across various domains. He is passionate about healthcare and founded Dignite with the sole purpose of improving the day to day lives of cancer patients.

6 Comments

  1. As I mentioned, the PAS product is a three step process.
    Anyone begin a directory most people because it exists doesn’t mean the reason is well ran or will drive you traffic.
    Because that puts the human factor to the marketing.

  2. As I mentioned, the PAS product is a three step process.

    Anyone begin a directory most people because it exists doesn’t mean the reason is well
    ran or will drive you traffic. Because that puts the human factor to the marketing.

  3. I’ll immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can’t
    find your email subscription link or e-newsletter
    service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me know in order that I could subscribe.

    Thanks. Hola! I’ve been reading your website for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out
    from Austin Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the great job!
    This is a topic that is near to my heart… Cheers!
    Where are your contact details though?

  4. You’ve made some good points there. I checked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

    It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.

    I’ve read this post and if I may I want to recommend you some fascinating
    things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles relating to
    this article. I desire to learn more issues about it!

Write A Comment