MOUTH CARE DURING RADIATION THERAPY

Mouth-oral-cancer

One of the most common concern of patients getting radiation therapy to head and neck region is how to take care of oral cavity during radiation therapy. Radiation therapy causes thickening and increased stickiness of saliva. Generally it starts two weeks after starting treatment. There is increased level of acidity in oral cavity which promotes infection. During second week of radiation therapy there is reddening of oral cavity mucosa. Third week onwards you may experience ulceration in oral cavity. Patient may feel difficulty in swallowing.

Do’s and Don’ts during Radiation Therapy

  1. Keep mouth clean by doing regular gargling. For gargling you may use water prepared by mixing one liter water with one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of baking powder. Gargle with this water every 3 to 4 hours. You can use non alcoholic mouth wash.
  2. Do gargling after taking food and remove remaining food particles from mouth
  3. Do not eat spicy, hot and hard food. You may have difficulty in swallowing
  4. Do have soft and bland diet. Take lots of water as there is increased chance of dehydration during Radiation therapy
  5. For brushing teeth use soft tooth brush. Do brushing gently.
  6. Sodium fluoride gel application over teeth may help to reduce dental caries.
  7. Dental check up is recommended before starting Radiation therapy
  8. Consult your doctor regularly during Radiation Therapy
Author – Dr. Jagdish Shinde – Radiation oncologist in pune

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